Thursday, March 09, 2006

Thinking in Web 2.0 - in simple english

I came across two very interesting articles last week, but didn't find the time to blog about them; the first is titled "Thinking in Web 2.0: Sixteen Ways" by Dion Hinchcliffe. In this very interesting article, he's discussed some of the basic things people who are looking to build or create a new web service need to do to be competitive on the web. Some of the are quite basic, but overall he's made it sound a little complex, which is why I've summarized what he's trying to say in plain english:

  • Set clear, measurable Goals; this one is pretty much standard for everything but its amazing how few actually do it.

  • Link Everything; make sure its accessible and 'shareable'

  • Let People Own their Data; loosen up permissions, let people do whatever they like with their data

  • Data is more important than looks and features; something I'm not completely comfortable with, but seems to be true - take a look at Craigs List (an extrememly popular site) to see what I mean

  • Share everything; encourage users to use your service in various ways, even ways you didn't plan on

  • Stick to the web; sure, you can extend the platform, but take good care that the Web is given foremost preference

  • Respect the Experts AND the Noobs; different types of people need different features at different learning curves - support both

  • Encourage collaboration; let people add, write comments, edit and basically tinker with whatever you provide

  • Take utmost care of personal information; your users will trust you with the info - don't abuse that trust

  • Use Standards; your application and data should be somehow compatible with everything esle out there, and adhering to standards is the best way

  • Keep it Simple. Let users control how they want to see data, let them share and tag and blog and do whatever they are used to doing on the web

  • Make the benefits of your service obvious and easy to understand. Personal incentive to use your service will be your biggest seller

  • Be Agile, use agile technologies; the last thing you need is a tool that makes you wait for weeks for a critical bug fix or feature addition

There are a few more points over at the original article, but this more or less summarizes the others too. Of course, as Russel Beatie pointed out, you also need to make sure you have a sound plan to make the money roll in :)