Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Web 2.0 - The Big Picture

Congratulations! Time Magazine voted "YOU" as the Person of the Year for 2006. Could you ever in your wildest dreams have imagined that! How did something like that happen to you, of all people? Why did you win the person of the year? Well, turns out, "you" does mean all people. You, me, we are the person of the year because we are part of a phenomenon. We are lucky enough to be around in the part of history where the purpose of human occupation on Earth is coming to fruition.

Earth is a living organism on a developmental path. It is evolving just as all life evolves. Earth has been considered the mother of life, but she is much more than that. Nature births us, nurtures us, sustains us, and teaches us. We grow, progress and come to know ourselves and the environment around us. Why is this? Is there a reason for it?

We are conscious beings but only part of a bigger whole. Just as our heart muscle is a pump made of many cells working together in harmony, we people are the developing nerve cells of a much bigger organism we know as Earth, who is also named Gaia. Our study of biology and physiology shows that nerves are a communication system and relay for awareness. We are made from Earth. We are sentient beings. We are small. The Earth is big. We are part of a greater being. The Earth!

Phone lines, radio, television, cable, cell phones, the World Wide Web, email, the blogosphere, RSS, places like Amazon, eBay, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Google, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, FaceBook, CraigsList, etc. It is all part of the Earth's evolving nervous system. We are putting it together because that is what we are programmed to do as nerve cells of the Earth. It is no accident that humankind dominates the Earth. It happened as a result of our language skills, technical ingenuity, and cooperation as social beings. We build relationships and our biggest relationship is with Gaia herself.

We create communities and they merge to create even larger communities which integrate to become one large community and what happens in the community becomes instantly known to everyone in it. That is what we are doing. We are growing not just as humans; we are growing as part of the Earth. The Earth is one massive living organism, and the human community is its evolving nervous or communication system. That system takes billions of people all over the world and a way to connect them, like the World Wide Web. It is a good start. Web 2.0 is the natural progress of that system as a development of community in a global media.

You are part of that community. You are part of the great being called Earth, but not just any part. You are part of its nervous system, its consciousness! That makes "YOU" Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2006! And because of you, we are well on our way to the year where Gaia also receives that honor.

7 Viral Ways for Exapanded Online Reach

What would happen if one of your friends tells about your newest blog to her five friends and they, in turn, tell their friends and it goes on like this? Pretty soon you will have all the traffic you need for a comfortable income from your newfound writing careers. Is it possible to achieve this kind of success using the virility of the social web, or does it sound like a pyramid scheme?

The emergence of social web provides opportunities for viral marketing that never existed before. Face to face talk or talk over the phone has its limitations in reaching your audience. The Web 1.0 offered forums for a limited viral marketing opportunity. The social web has opened up avenues greatly expanding the online reach. This article describes seven techniques for using the social web to achieve that viral reach.

1. Before jumping to social websites to launch your viral adventure, make your site social web friendly. Provide a link on your site for users to invite their friends. When someone joins your site through an invitation, reward points to the inviter. Announce a contest on your site and reward the top inviter with e-books or a t-shirt with your site logo.

2. Spend some time at Digg. This is a community based news popularity web site. If your blog article hits the front page of Digg, you will get thousands of visitors and some of them will eventually become your regulars. Study the types of articles that end up on the front page of Digg. Write your blog articles targeted to Digg users.

3. MySpace is the ultimate social website because of its sheer size in terms of visitors. If you have lots of friends who have their MySpace pages, create a niche network community in MySpace with common interests. Post teasers of your interesting blog articles in your MySpace page with links to your full article. Ask your friends to write comments on your blog postings.

4. Take a look at Delicious. Google Delicious to get the url because it is not a dot-com domain. It is a social book-marking site to store your bookmarks online. You should build a network of friends at this site and study their book markings to assess the type of articles they prefer to bookmark. Tailor your blog articles to mimic the article style your network appreciates.

5. Visit a site called Squidoo. At Squidoo you create "lenses" (a Web page) about any topic. You can create as many lenses as you want and you can embed external links in your lenses. Squidoo lenses also have good search engine credibility. So, your sites will get some good external in-bound links for free.

6. LinkedIn is an online community of experienced professionals. Create your account at LinkedIn and network with professionals in your fields. Offer some free services for other professionals in your network and solicit their recommendations. All recommendations appear in your profile. LinkedIn provides great opportunity for someone to find your business or services.

7. YourElevatorPitch provides a free online spot to announce your business and services. User rates your ad pitches. This site also allows you to link back to your site.

Other sites worth exploring for viral opportunities are Flickr and YouTube. Both the sides accept multimedia (photos for Flickr and videos for YouTube) contents. These sites are good for establishing your brand by regular posting of theme oriented humorous contents.