In order to unlock your potential using what is commonly referred to as web 2.0, you must first understand at least in a basic sense, what web 2.0 is. In the earlier days of the internet, information storage, searching, and communications were based on a very linear model. Messages go from point A, where they are originated - to point B, their point of receipt.
In a web 2.0 model, the internet is far more participatory. In web 1.0 you would perhaps be able to access an online version of a static encyclopedia. In web 2.0, you can access multiple databases of constantly evolving content. One of the cornerstones of web 2.0 is interconnectedness. Users can be notified of site changes, collaboration is encouraged and feedback is facilitated.
Social networks for example are one example of web 2.0. One of the many things to note under the web 2.0 model is that you can be your own competition. An improperly handled customer service issue if left unchecked can result in a negative image of you, your product or service, and your general reputation.
Being honest and straightforward is its own reward, if for no other reason than the consequences of bad acts are not merely cumulative, but rapid and decisive. The last thing anyone needs is a lone crusader to make it their mission to ruin your business reputation. A very negative and often humorous negative campaign will spread like wildfire.
Viral marketing is an enigma of web 2.0. The ease with which word of mouth can spread is staggering. Never before has it been so easy to turn a concept, product or even a phrase into a household staple.
Blogs, social networks, and even the interlinked nature of today's web is creating an "adapt or fade away" culture. If you don't learn to make use of technology, you will get left behind. Now that the stern warnings have been given, here's the good news - web 2.0 is inherently designed to make it easier to profit.
If you have a good product, good business practices, and honesty, and you combine those with the ability to seize on the existing technology as well as keep up with its advances, you're ahead of the curve. Of course large businesses with huge budgets will always invest in technology - but the small business owner rarely takes advantage of new marketing techniques, website promotion tactics, or even bothers to write articles.
You're now armed with potent knowledge. It used to be simple - the website was for your local clients, but not really for targeting a global market exactly. The rules are changed, and they will continue to change. For every business owner who just got done finally getting their website up and running, and is too worn down to make upgrades, do not worry about them. They will lose their market share to people like you who understand how to use the new web.
Don't focus on what everyone else is doing. Focus on the best business practices you can implement. Focus on writing the best articles you can, on running split tests to maximize response. Focus on helping other people to be successful by providing relevant and valuable content to your list.
E. Alan Cowgill