What are the characteristics of the Web 2.0 age from a media planner’s perspective and how
these characteristics should be dealt with in the development of an effective media plan?
Web 2.0 age brings about interactive systemic bases, interoperability, user-centered design in a
virtual community, in contrast to the original dot-com boom where users are limited to the active
viewing of contents. The characteristics of the Web 2.0 age can be summarized as five points:
collective user value, active network effects, working through social networks, dynamically
syndicate competence, and recombined innovations.
The key ingredient of Web 2.0 age is the ability to build on collective user value, that is, to
collect information from users and then share it in a form that people are willing to pay for. It is
important for media planners to understand the basic value and cost of their users. They also
need to evaluate their plans to find the areas where collective user value can help. Flickr centers
the work on customer data which would expand the information that users share with each other.
Flickr gives its users instant gratification with easy-access digital photo storage and
management, using its huge library of public photos to build a new kind of community.
Network effects are the heart of Web 2.0 age. Positive network effects increase the value of a
good or service as more people use or adopt it. Media planners need to figure out what the offline
and online network effects are and how can measure their value. Moreover, they need to discover
the likely and unlikely places and groups that could generate positive network effects- direct,
indirect, demand-side, cross-network, and social. Once possibilities are inventoried, it’s time to
examine how to combine them. Google’s search-engine story demonstrated the hair-raising
twists and turns in a highly fluid, complex, and time-sensitive competitive race. In the early race
between Google and Overture, having the right combination of network-effects strategies and
monetization meant that Google could overcome its competitors’ early lead.
Social networks are a natural conduit for network effects and a key field for community-building
that can strengthen the media plans’ appeal. Social networks can help reaching a larger audience
and build stronger ties within the user community. Media planners need to examine the target
audiences’ profile and to pick their favorite social networks. For example, Facebook opens up
hyper-growth in the college-age population to a whole new ecosystem of active users,
contributors, and developers. No doubt, media planners can benefit from this kind of accelerated
growth, traffic, and visibility.
Web 2.0 competence syndication is a new kind of digitally open remixing. Through