Basically known as just the “Internet” today, Web 2.0 has a deeper meaning to those who witnessed its rise in the late 1990s. If you’ve ever taken part in information sharing, community-based websites, web hosting services, video/audio sharing sites, or any other type of social networking, then you’ve been to a Web 2.0 site.
The applications that make use of this ever-expanding phenomenon are encompassing in this day and age of instant information, and many people decide to use Web 2.0 means to start up their respective businesses.
The advantages are literally too numerous to name, and include the obvious like successful high-volume trafficking, conversion, repeat business, relationship forging, and a more hands-on approach with your clientele, not to mention the low startup costs of operating a website or a blog. But there are a few pitfalls – traps – involved with Web 2.0 that people rarely speak about.
Although there aren’t many legitimate downsides to using Web 2.0 to start a business (based on what type of business you’re planning on starting, obviously), we’ll go over a few that have caught people by surprise and made their businesses suffer.
Web 2.0 Snags and Bumps in the Road
First and foremost, you’re dealing with a bubble, regardless of the type of business you’re operating. People doing business on Web 2.0 can quickly disappear due to many factors. For example, let’s say you built your entire business on a Google video site or something of that type.
Well, if the site closes down, it’s taking your business with it. Although it’s a wise idea to use Web 2.0, you still want to build your business on something wholly stable – something that backs you up. This way, if one avenue collapses, you’re only losing traffic and not your business.
Another danger is becoming a fad. Social networking and word of mouth is a huge part of Web 2.0. However, you still need to open and operate a credible business. Some flash-in-the-pan business will quickly be noticed for what it is, and your credibility will be zero.
Word of mouth is also risky in other ways. If you happen to have any dispute with a customer, or even if you happen to run into a belligerent customer, your business can be trashed over the blogosphere and social networking airwaves, leaving you with a potential mess.
Word travels quickly in this world, and the same things that make you laugh are certain to make you cry. Be prepared to read some bad publicity. It just comes with the territory.
It’s also easy to get caught up and to be too much about the business end. If you’re involved in Web 2.0, then you’re out there in the mix with everyone else. You should be blogging and opening up Facebook and Twitter accounts. Even if you only have a few followers and/or subscribers, treat them well and engage in conversation or at least post updates. This is also a great way to market any new products or services.