The Web 2.0 concept – the basics

The days of having your website managed by a web designer or design company are now on their way out.

In the past websites were a one-way read only process, an online brochure which people visited to get information. Now, with the whole concept of Web 2.0, it’s all a two-way interactive process with customers or fans playing an active part in a website.

Now, not only can you update all of your web pages or blogs yourself but you can also allow visitors to comment and discuss your website’s content all over the internet, reaching far greater numbers of people than ever before.

This two-way interaction not only improves communications with customers or fans but actually helps shape your products/services by allowing you to see where the demand is – who is buying and what they really want.

With Web 2.0 your web presence goes way beyond what you put on your site. You now need to look at review sites, forums, online communities, social networking communities – in short, anywhere where people can make reference to you.

When you’re looking to launch a new web project make sure it fits into the world of Web 2.0 or risk being left behind.

Want to know more?

I recommend O’Reilly – What is Web 2.0?

The CIM eMarketing Award

Chartered Institute of marketingI’m currently studying towards the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)’s eMarketing Award.

I did a 4 day intensive course through Marketing Tom Media based near Cardiff. The Award is assessed by an online test and a 4,000 word eMarketing report.

EMarketing encompasses not only marketing through the web but all forms of electronic marketing so looks at things like email, interactive digital TV, mobile phones, CD-ROMs, etc. The web side looks at not only how to develop a successful website but all the other tools and tricks available to anyone looking to promote their business. It was a real eye opener for me. I now feel that I properly understand the meaning of Web 2.0 – blogging, RSS, social networking. Things have really moved on in the last few years and static brochure type websites are quickly being left behind by the new web 2.0 interactive sites which actively involve the customers in the whole web experience.

The real beauty of online marketing compared to conventional forms of offline marketing is that everything is quantifiable. Every time anyone sees an advert it is logged. If they click a link it is logged. This makes it very easy to way up the return on your investment and keep your marketing budget going on the right things.

As well as all the marketing hints and tips the course also looks at how eMarketing fits in with the rest of your business – customer service, data management, development of new products and services.

All being well I hope to gain this professional qualification by the end of 2008.