With the emergence and popularity of social software, we have been ushered into the world of Web 2.0. We now have blogs, social bookmarking, robust online communities, social news and lots of AJAX for web applications that have been created for just about any kind of need, want or desire. Beyond this social aspect is there really any difference between Web 2.0 and Web 1.0?
In my opinion, the answer is no. The social aspect now exists because the technology made it available. The traits of quality sites will always remain the same. There are certain key elements that will make or break websites whether it is Web 2.0 or Web 22.43.
- Usefulness – Is the site ultimately useful? Will I want to go back to it again after I have visited it once? This is true no matter the website. "Static" informational websites need to be as useful as forums or social bookmarking sites.
- Creative – After del.icio.us appeared on the scene, it seems like a zillion social bookmarking sites were born. The same happened in Web 1.0 when a zillion directories emerged. Most suffered from an incredible lack of creativity and today sit unused. All web sites that offer some level of creativity will continue to thrive.
- User Focus – How many times have you been to a website and found it incredibly difficult to use? How many times have you felt a website was written just for you? Those websites which maintain a user focus will continue to find a spot in the marketplace.
- Unique – It is hard to be totally unique. Most sites within a market try to differentiate themselves. However, some do too good a job of blending into the wallpaper.
- Value – websites that provide their visitors value will continue to be around for a long time. Even a small website that offers great value in a niche market will be successful.
- Customer Service – Every website has customers whether it has something to sell or not. Whatever label you want to call them customers / visitors are the reasons websites exist. If you think about extending excellent customer service to your visitors not only will you be user focused, but will make you pretty unique as well.