Eric Magnuson

My unique intersection of cooperation, sustainable business and local living economies.

Until I re-prioritize blog publishing, all my contributions to the noise can be found on Twitter.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Understanding Web 2.0

Time to spread a little meme love around. Today I am trying to wrap my head around the significance of Web 2.0 in relation to local media. For those of you new to this meme, I recommend reading Tim O'Reilly's essay, What is Web 2.0. The trends driving the decline of print news and the rise of Web 2.0 appear to be one and the same in that the trend is towards participation and local control of data on the user side and towards targeted services on the business side.
While mainstream media may see individual blogs as competitors, what is really unnerving is that the competition is with the blogosphere as a whole. This is not just a competition between sites, but a competition between business models. The world of Web 2.0 is also the world of what Dan Gillmor calls "we, the media," a world in which "the former audience", not a few people in a back room, decides what's important.

I think my understanding of Web 2.0 is shifting from a focus on platform differences to a focus on the business model differences it presents. The most important model difference is that embodied in the network effect, which is a key aspect of a successful Web 2.0 model. The more people use your service the more useful your service becomes. In local media, to me, the answer is citizen journalism.


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