Charles Pillsbury III

Geek. Dad. Writer?

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Web2.0 Business theory (linked article)

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I find myself linking to Chad Perrin yet again (as I get caught up on some of the articles on his site).

The closest I’ve seen to actually approaching an insightful explanation of “Web 2.0″, in the form of what works and what doesn’t, goes something like this:

  1. simple, clean, user-oriented, functionality-focused design
  2. building value through user participation
  3. letting the data come to you
  4. non-obvious means of turning a profit that are tangential to the main product or service

There’s an underlying principle to this, however, that is being overlooked by just about everyone. It’s the key difference between successful “Web 2.0″ and unsuccessful “Web 2.0 manque”:

  • Employ a business model defined by the customers.

That’s about it. There’s no imposition of business model from above in the form of legal limits. There’s no trying to make the customer base conform to a preferred way of making money. There’s no coercive marketing, high-pressure sales, or obfuscation. There’s no priesthood of product or service development dealing with the supplicants of the customer base.

[From Chad Perrin: SOB ยป Why Web2.0 Works (and what doesn't work)]

I’ve got a couple of websites that I run “on the side” and for my main one (Wordtrip.com) we managed to hit #2, with a bit of off-the-shelf #1, and some poorly directed (on my part) #3. #4 is an interesting one because apparently my “non-obvious means of turning a profit” has been to just not turn a profit. That may be a bit TOO non-obvious.

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May 3rd, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Posted in Blog Entry, Misc

3 Responses to 'Web2.0 Business theory (linked article)'

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  1. Sometimes, just building interest and letting that bring people to other, largely unrelated means of making money is valuable, too. If people become interested enough in what you’re giving away, they may offer you a high-pay job because they Google-stalked you and found your resume, for instance.

    That’s pretty non-obvious, and is a way that some people turn a profit without even realizing that’s what they were doing.

    It’s kind of hit-or-miss, of course, when you get that far into the “non-obvious”.

    apotheon

    3 May 08 at 5:10 pm

  2. Admittedly, the first year or two we made the “Top 101 Websites for Writers” from Writer’s Digest magazine I had in mind it was doing what I needed, giving a platform to those of us running things to make a career out of writing. Then the reality of my lack of writing discipline and having a novel finished to make USE of that platform hit me and I realized I’d sort of like to make some money from the site itself somehow. Of course not running ads for a long time and never placing them obtrusively didn’t help the revenue stream either. Right now I’m working with my buddy (the partner on the project) to re-design things to highlight content more in a way that might lend itself to some advertising revenue if nothing else.

    cpillsbury

    3 May 08 at 7:46 pm

  3. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of your site’s visitors, or negatively influence the content on the site, there isn’t anything really wrong with advertising as a way to make the site profitable. I’m sure I’m just telling you things you already know, though.

    apotheon

    4 May 08 at 6:36 pm

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