Lessons from the Web 2.0 Software Thinking

There are many lessons that marketers could learn by understanding the approach that software engineers take when dealing with Web 2.0 projects. I found this great link on PR Machine that leads to the Australian site of Dion Hinchcliffe. In this article, Dion explains the 16 steps for thinking in Web 2.0 – I have tried to take these steps and see them from a marketing point of view below.

  • Understand your goal simply, before you begin. My view is to start with a single, clear message. Let this infuse everything else. Build out from here.
  • The link is the fundamental unit of thought.
  • Data belongs to those that create it. Respect originality.
  • It’s about data first, experiences and functionality second. Nail your story first. Know what you want to say and then choose the best media for the telling.
  • Be prepared to share everything with enthusiasm. Encourage unintended uses — because others you don’t yet know may add depth and value to your own insights in the process.
  • The web is the platform. It really is not going away. Get used to it now … start learning how to use it, how to extend it (and use it to grow as you grow).
  • Understand capability. Keep your story simple, explain it by sharing it without jargon — because not all your readers can read your language well.
  • Everything is editable. The web is a constant dialogue. If you are setting your stories in stone, you are living in the age of the Egyptians. Get with it.
  • Identity is sancrosanct. If you promise privacy, then deliver on the promise.
  • Know your standards and use them. It is like a style guide — learn a little about RSS and how it can help. Stay away from the technology that locks you in to someone else’s story.
  • Obey the law of unintended uses. Remain original and people will find you. The impatient among us are hungry for a compelling story. If you open the door by starting a blog, sharing a podcast or a picture, then be prepared for us to take a look, contact you or share our comments.
  • Granulate your data. While we may like to read your novel, we may only have time for a daily blog post. Cater for the time poor or attention challenged as well.
  • Provide benefits to individuals. There may be 1 billion internet users, but we aren’t all sheep. Share something of yourself in a way that will resonate with your readers. When it becomes personal, it becomes memorable — and it will make me come back.
  • User driven organisation is important. If you have a story to tell, tag it and categorise it so that I can jump to my areas of interest.
  • Offer rich experiences. OK I know I need more pictures here … but that is just the beginning. See the Anoptique guys, see Flickr, Tag Clouds etc.
  • Embrace and enable change. A story is something that evolves. Put your story out there, and then review it, change it, take other viewpoints into consideration. Hell, this Internet thing is alive and kicking, why aren’t you?

Hope you enjoyed!


2 thoughts on “Lessons from the Web 2.0 Software Thinking

  1. I’ve wondered about the “data belongs to the user” concept for a while now. Is that really the case? If someone contributes to Wikipedia, can they take their thoughts back? Can you delete contributions you’ve made to most Google Maps Mashups? Should people be able to?
    This one is pretty grey to me.

  2. Many Web 2.0 systems allow you to edit or delete your own data … some even allow you to delete other people’s entries. My view is this is more about respecting the originality of other people’s work. If you are posting the original ideas of someone else … then you deserve the “feedback” that you receive. Similarly, if you post something that is contentious, then let’s hope that it starts a debate about a real issue. I am still a believer in the ownership of an idea (by the author) … but those ideas become available to other users the minute they are published.

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