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Impact of Web 2.0

Class 14 

PDF Handout:  class14_impact_web_20.pdf






In this class we will look at the impact that Web 2.0 is likely to have or is already having in individuals, communities and business. As one of the main contributions of Web 2.0 is “social media”, we will focus mostly on this.


Social media

Social media is a term used to describe the collection of Internet applications that enables individuals and communities to gather, communicate, create, interact, share, and collaborate. Social media is a product of "user-generated content" - content that is contributed by participant interactions rather than the software developers.

Social media is media that interacts with you or that you can interact with.

Web2.0 was about a shift in application development and deployment. Rather than producing a product, and offering it to the consumer, the application evolved as users interacted with it, and as their contributions guided the direction of the developers, to ultimately achieve a better and continually adapting application.


Overview of social media

·         Internet-based tools for sharing and discussing information

·         Websites based on user participation, user interaction and user-generated content

·         User-created video, audio, text or multimedia that are published and shared in a social environment

·         Tools that allow groups to generate content and engage in peer-to-peer conversations and exchange of content


Social Media in Plain English - 4 min

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Impact on society

Our society has begun to embrace a wide variety of social media as part of our everyday lives. From social network sites to blogs and wikis, we are using the power of social media to communicate, share, produce and retrieve information.

The youth of today will be tomorrow’s leaders. They are growing up in a world where social media is playing a significant role in shaping their lives. The youth played a central role in the rise of some social media, but some was shaped by the adults and business world. How and why these applications are being used, varies among these groups.



Social media is connecting educators and learners in new ways. It broadens the way students communicate with one another and provides an additional audience for their projects. Educators have found new methods for learning and teaching. Libraries are using social media to obtain and deliver information, which now exists in different formats.


News and Journalism

Blogs and other forms of social media are being used for editorial coverage. People are turning to blogs and communities such as Digg for information and to participate in current happenings. When a news story is published online, it can become social media if there is a place for readers to comment on it.




As much as social media has benefited candidates for a high-profile office like President of the United States it has also enabled people to speak out about any political issue at any scale. Many times social media' greatest impact is being felt by politicians in more local environments, enabling people to become aware of and get involved in local issues and to take a new look at local politicians who may have otherwise received relatively little scrutiny



Social media is being used to promote government services and information, job recruitments and announcements. The care helping different agencies to become more inter connected. For example, the Library of Congress has public domain photos on Flickr - At http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress, and www.usa.gov has a sidebar of “Government 2.0” links.



Marketing and Advertising

A company’s presence on social media sites is becoming important in Internet marketing.

Word-of-mouth marketing has become a great  marketing opportunity on the web. Social media has allowed web users the ability to voice their opinions, connect with users, and vote on the best content.



New Technologies = New Ways to Work with Customers

Social media has open up new ways of doing business, due to free tools, such as blogs, podcasts, and video sharing. These tools have become more effective than traditional, costly advertising. These tools allow one to provide feedback, organization and promotion. Social media provides new opportunities to create and communicate.

Companies are successfully tapping the rich data and communication media on services like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace to bootstrap brand and product conversations, virally reach new audiences, and transform existing customers into a loyal sales force.



Ford Motor Company's Approach to Social Media - 5:30 min

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Economic direction – the Long Tail theory – what makes niche marketing possible

The Long Tail refers to the economic curve of supply and demand. The head of the curve is very high, which measures the large sale of popular products that are in demand. As the demand for not so popular products decreases, so does the tail, which eventually disappears. The Long Tail, however, continues, as the sale of the not so popular products will continue due to the impact of the Internet.


Video - 9 min - by Chris Anderson

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Where Could We be Heading?


Tim O’Reilly speaks Web 2.0 (from Web 2.0 conference, San Francisco, April 2009)

Video: Will Twitter revolutionize the Web? - 6 min

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2009 Social Media Predictions

An interesting video on YouTube - 5 min

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  Assignment: Answer Question on the Wiki 

        - you have until the end of the semester to answer this question!









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