Business thinking and strategies behind successful Web 2.0 implementations.
By Amy Shuen
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: April 2008
Web 2.0 makes headlines, but how does it make money? This concise guide explains what's different about Web 2.0 and how those differences can improve your company's bottom line. Whether you're an executive plotting the next move, a small business owner looking to expand, or an entrepreneur planning a startup, Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide illustrates through real-life examples how businesses, large and small, are creating new opportunities on today's Web.
This book is about strategy. Rather than focus on the technology, the examples concentrate on its effect. You will learn that creating a Web 2.0 business, or integrating Web 2.0 strategies with your existing business, means creating places online where people like to come together to share what they think, see, and do. When people come together over the Web, the result can be much more than the sum of the parts. The customers themselves help build the site, as old-fashioned "word of mouth" becomes hypergrowth.
Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide demonstrates the power of this new paradigm by examining how:
Flickr, a classic user-driven business, created value for itself by helping users create their own value
Google made money with a model based on free search, and changed the rules for doing business on the Web-opening opportunities you can take advantage of
Social network effects can support a business-ever wonder how FaceBook grew so quickly?
Businesses like Amazon tap into the Web as a source of indirect revenue, using creative new approaches to monetize the investments they've made in the Web
Written by Amy Shuen, an authority on Silicon Valley business models and innovation economics, Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide explains how to transform your business by looking at specific practices for integrating Web 2.0 with what you do. If you're executing business strategy and want to know how the Web is changing business, this book is for you.
Chapter 1 Users Create Value
Flickr and Collective User Value
Six Ways Flickr Created User Value Through Interaction
Good blend of business, marketing and technology savvy
By Chip Childers
Comments about oreilly Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide:
Amy Shuen has done a wonderful job with this book. Its ability to blend the business, marketing and technology conversation around Web 2.0 philosophies into a cohesive discussion makes this book worth the read. While I was slightly disappointed that the book didn't spend much time on internal uses for these strategies (which could easily have been added as a seventh chapter), the focus on the value to changing a business was well researched and valuable.
In particular, spending time understanding the various value propositions around Web 2.0 was excellent. From innovation models, to monetization strategies and harnessing the long tail of a potential market, the revenue potential is clearly explored.
One comment that I read from another reader (http://infosysblogs.com/web2/2008/09/thumbs_down_for_web_20_a_strat.html) was that he felt that the language was contrived and not engaging enough. I couldn't disagree more. The book was articulate and readable, especially given the fact that the book covered so many of the dry topics that are often ignored for the sake of hype generating content.
Standard Web Standards Review of Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide
By Regnard Raquedan
Comments about oreilly Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide:
I find Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide by Amy Shuen a very interesting take on the Web 2.0 phenomenon. From what I've been used to reading about Web 2.0, it was all about the technical aspect of it_ web services, AJAX, web application architecture, tagging & tag clouds, etc. But this book puts Web 2.0 into a level where decision makers and business folk can appreciate it.
The book utilizes case studies of companies that have leveraged on Web 2.0: Flickr, Netflix, Google, LinkedIn, Amazon, and IBM, to mention a few. Citations of contemporary classics like The Long Tail, Tipping Point, The World is Flat and Small is the New Big give some business credence to the work. But the high point of the book for me is the very good exposition of business models that take advantage of Web 2.0. The strategic and tactical questions after each chapter kinda make this a nice business school textbook.
Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide is a very interesting primer for creating value using social media, social networks and innovation. The even concludes with a business plan on how to launch your own potential Web 2.0 business - a timely read if you want to make use of Web 2.0 in your business or company.
This review was originally posted at Standard Web Standards (http://webstandards.raquedan.com/?p=311)
The last year buzz in the web world is web 2.0. This sounds very cool, but what does this really means from a business side of view? This is what Web 2.0: A Manager's Guide is about. It describes, using real cases from famous web 2.0 businesses, what web 2.0 means, how it's implemented and how you can implement it in your own business.
First, Amy Shuen tells about the importance of a netwerk in web 2.0 and how to get a critical mass extending your network. She tells about the old fashion business theories of investing and deploying products. Then she show how this is different on web 2.0. How to make a business plan for web 2.0 projects based on networks and how invest in this kind of projects. She introduces some interesting theories about this.
After getting the critical mass, Amy Shuen tells us how current web 2.0 business are getting there money. What kind of business plan they use and how they stimulate people who contribute and how to ask money at the people who don't contribute. Also here, she introduces some interesting theories which are different from the theories used in old fashion businesses.
The last chapter is about how to use all this knowledge in an already existing, old fashion business. Where can you implement and combine positive network effects with the old fashion kind of business. What are the key points to look after.
The book tells a lot of interesting things when you want to start a web 2.0 business or want to implmenent web 2.0 in your current business. There are lots of useful theories and the use cases of existing web 2.0 businesses is very explanational. It's a shame that the book is just five chapters. There's lots more to tell about web 2.0 and web 2.0 businesses. At the other hand, this is book is a good start when you want to make a web 2.0 business. It gives you a good basic of all the things you have to know. When you want to know more about a specific subject you can buy another book.
Recommended business analysis of Web 2.0 principles
Comments about oreilly Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide:
This is a great book that puts Web 2.0 in business terms. Normally, I read books that deal in gory technical details--not books that speak in business terms. But given that caveat, I felt this did a really good job describing Web 2.0 concepts and illustrating how they can be monetized.
The book illustrates the various points it makes through referring to sites that everyone now knows about: eBay, Amazon.com, Flikr, LinkedIn, Facebook, and of course Google. Each of these success stories show how some traditional business thinking was turned on its head in favor of this new Web 2.0 business model. Throughout the 6 chapters of the book, the author provides lots of market analysis, charts, and graphs. This information is combined with some interesting studies in sociology to create a read that is well-researched and informative.
While not a casual read, I'd recommend this book to managers or executives interesting in learning about how Web 2.0 principles can be applied to their business.
Written in an engaging easy to read style; then you pour some coffee and the implications start to hit you. "If this, then..." and "Hey, we could make money ...". My favorite is "That's how they use the stuff I do! Wow!"
Information is presented with an idea, how it has been applied, some visual clarification, and then more meat on the concepts. Chapters have questions at the end and more notes at the end of the book. "Bravo!" for the end notes, moving them elsewhere kept the chapters powerfully concise and still provide more detail where you need it. Pages of bibliography help as well.
The author doesn't preach the new order but simply explains advantages of Web 2.0. Her explinations provide new ways to look at an established business, guidance for entrepreneurial spirits just building their next big thing, and even business collateral ideas that would support non-web brick and mortars.
My perceptions have been expanded and I'm seeing strong business advantage from applied technicals. If you're a geek who hasn't felt your work contributes to a larger whole, give this a read! You'll see the past clearer and glimpse the short-term future.
Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide (Hardcover) by Amy Shuen (Author) delivers on its promise of providing effective strategies and a new way of thinking when it comes to using Web 2.0 tools to improve your business.
The book seems to be targeting marketing managers and business owners who rely on outside sources or other departments to research and implement these services. Amy Shuen provides a clear understanding of these concepts to those needing it.
One of the best resources of the book is the end-notes. The references that Amy cites gives the reader a great starting point to find more in depth material about specific topics.
The book is impressive in its clarity. Shuen's concise, clear language presents the marketing and business aspects of Web 2.0 without the typical hype. If you are new to Web 2.0, social networks and curious about the rise of Facebook, Youtube, and similar outlets, then give this book a thorough read. You will come away understanding the core business principles driving the success of these online behemoths.
One example of user-contributed value Shuen highlights is the tag cloud on Flickr. The tag cloud is a categorization of popular items on the site derived from user input. The tag cloud allows people to explore through concepts rather than just finding specific. Shuen reports that 85% of the photos in Flickr have human-added metadata. This data is used to better organize search and categorize the images. The interaction with the customer is a key item Shuen points out as critical to Flickr's success. This user contribution to the site generates value for all users. A key she says to successful Web 2.0 operations.
Shuen also highlights LinkedIn and Facebook. She describes positive network effects at work in these companies. On LinkedIn the value of the site is determined by the network it can offer you. When you join the network, you add a positive impact, your presence may lead to others to join or you may linked up previously separated groups. By joining the network you increase its utility to all users while simultaneously making it more attractive to non-users. These positive network effects as Shuen calls them are critical to Web 2.0 success.
A nice feature of the book, is that at the end of each chapter, Shuen presents Strategic and Tactical Questions. These are excellent bullet list to help you think about enabling Web 2.0 on your business or expanding your Web 2.0 up-start. For example, she encourages you to "think about positive network effects" taking place in your business. How have you actively considered and worked with positive network effects to grown your company?
Shuen break downs Web 2.0 into some key areas: collective user value, network effects, competence syndication, and recombinant innovation areas she documents as core to Web 2.0 business. If these you want to learn more about these concepts and Web 2.0 in general, this is the book to start.
Since I work in the technical side of web development, I somehow expected this book to be more about the technical attributes of this new phenomenon called Web 2.0. I was ready to read about AJAX and similar recent technical innovations and their effect on using the Internet to more successfully conduct business. Instead, the author, Amy Shuen, clearly states that this book is about strategy, rather than a focus on technology. The word "strategy" is in the book's title!
The book indeed focuses on marketing strategy. Ms Shuen demonstrates through real-life examples how various companies are creating new opportunities for success through Web 2.0 business models. She delves into the workings of Flickr, Google, Facebook, and Amazon to demonstrate how the underlying principles she has identified as Web 2.0 processes have been applied to drive each company to growth and profitability. Using Web 2.0 strategy, a company can start by offering a free service, such as a free search capability (Google) or a place to store, organize, access, and share personal photos (Flickr). The next step is then to reach a critical mass of active uploaders or users of the service to create powerful cross-network and social network effects. These network effects then can be mined for advertising and targeted pay-per-click marketing. Who would have thought a great free search web site could make billions of dollars per year!
There is still some amount of disagreement about just what Web 2.0 means, with some people labeling it as a meaningless marketing buzzword, and others accepting it as the new conventional wisdom. Tim Berners-Lee, the creator and architect of the web, in fact, has some really big doubts that Web 2.0 is different from Web 1.0 at all. On the other side, Tim O'Reilly, whose Web 2.0 conferences gave the name to the phenomenon, gives the following examples of Web 1.0 versus corresponding Web 2.0 entities:
Double Click versus Google AdSense; Ofoto versus Flickr; Akamai versus BitTorrent; mp3.com versus Napster; Britannica Online versus Wikepedia; personal websites versus blogging; page views versus cost per click; screen scraping versus web services; publishing versus participation; content management systems versus wikis; directories (taxonomy) versus tagging ("folksonomy"); stickiness versus syndication.
The above comparisons did provide me some sense of differentiation between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 properties; perhaps it might also enlighten some readers of this book.
In Chapter 6, the author presents her list of five steps to successful Web 2.0 implementation. She states that a key ingredient of many Web 2.0 projects is their ability to collect information from users and then share it in a form that people are willing to pay for. Determining how to build this collective user value is the difficult but essential first step. Another huge step is how to use the created network effects to achieve a successful and continuous revenue stream. This chapter, as well as the entire book, consists of guidelines and suggestions, of course, not clearly delineated steps to successful Web 2.0 implementation.
I would recommend this book both to the entrepreneur and business type person and to the "techie" person. I learned many things about Web 2.0 companies, the power of collaboration and social networking, and marketing strategies. The author's "End Notes" section of the book was also a great source of information and explanations about the whole subject of Web 2.0 terms.