The difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0

April 24, 2009

Here's one view of the difference, put in a punchy short form:

  • web 1.0: all of this user attention is going to be worth money!
  • web 2.0: all of this user attention is going to be worth money, and this time around we're going to make sure that the users stick around for it.

In classic 'Web 1.0' operations (with the apex of this being the various portals), it turned out to be very hard to monetize all of the user attention that you were getting. Pretty much all of the things you could do to get money from your users generally made the experience worse for them, and so they left for somewhere else.

Classic 'Web 2.0' operations like Twitter are once again getting huge valuations based on the view that all of this user attention has to be worth money. But this time around people have learned from the previous failures, so they are making sure that the users will be stuck to their websites as tightly as possible so that they can't leave when the monetization starts and the experience goes downhill.

There's lots of crude ways to do this, but the best one (and one that is everywhere in Web 2.0) is social stickyness. Once you have a community using a service, like Twitter, they are all hooked; a large part of what they're getting out of the service is their connections, and if someone move to a different service they lose all of that.

Written on 24 April 2009.
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Last modified: Fri Apr 24 01:15:06 2009
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