Dion Hinchcliffe's Web 2.0 Blog has become my guide book for understanding and sorting through the evolving technology that has been labeled Web 2.0.
In basic terms, Web 2.0 shifts our focus from large static Web sites to numerous deposits of interactive Web knowledge. Web 1.0 is all about talking at you and Web 2.0 is all about creating conversations. Think of Web 1.0 as a television which lets you watch content created by a small group of others. Web 2.0 is a video camera that lets you create, watch, and distribute content to others who also create, watch, and distribute content.
The applications (like Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.) of Web 1.0 are loaded and launched on our personal computers and the output from these applications is stored on our personal computers or private network file servers. The applications of Web 2.0 are stored and shared with others on the Web and the output from these applications is available to anyone connected to the Web and given permission to view and interact with our output.
Web 1.0 is all about centralized knowledge and push (e-mail) & pull (Web site) messages. Web 2.0 is all about decentralized knowledge, social interactions, conversations, and collaboration among individual users.
In yesterday's post on Dion's blog he addressed Web 2.0's Real Secret Sauce: Network Effects. At the end of his post, he asks, "How will you apply Web 2.0 to your life, business, or organization?"
Here's my response and how I see Web 2.0 benefiting travel professionals and their clients:
Retail travel distribution can use Web 2.0 strateigies and techniques to build strong viral social networks. Travel experiences create great water cooler stories which translate into bragging-rights for travelers. Travelers love to talk about travel.
Web 2.0 gives knowledgeable travel experts an opportunity to leap frog static online travel Web sites and their kissing cousins, the peer-to-peer message boards. Given Wall Street's cool shoulder towards online travel Web sites, I believe investors understand Web 2.0 opportunities too.