Understanding the Power of Web 2.0 - It's About Participation!

Real Estate Agent with Wilkinson & Associates

As a Broker and Realtor, it's important to understand how to best utilize the power of the Internet in my career as a Broker and Realtor in Charlotte, NC. Countless sources state that 90% of all real estate transactions involve the Internet and the buyer or seller's interaction with accomplishing their goals. Of course, as a Broker and Realtor with over 23 years experience, I have relied on many types of media to perform well in my career. With the emerging technologies and on line world that the Internet opened in the late 1990s, we soon realized the importance of creating our on line presence with commerce and data sites, best described now as Web 1.0. The earliest websites were developed to present information and data which was static in nature. The web sites seemed to talk at you and the content would stay the same. In 2003, I began really noticing websites with Flash Applications. Although the technology was present before 2003, I can honestly say that I was not influenced by Flash technology until I started using pictures in my personal website. Even though I would like to think I was on top o f the latest technology, I guess I was actually behind the curve. Now, we are in the full force of Web 2.0 technology. Here is a diagram that I found helpful in explaining the evolution of the Internet, according to the technology world of "geeks. "

and here's another one... I thought was good...

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Simply, I gather Web 1.0 to have been the start of data collection on a large scale... but the information presented to the audience was static. It provided for one way communication of information.

Web 2.0 is all about interaction. Technology and Developers enhanced by Open Source (the free and creative distribution of software and applications for the Internet which are freely distributed and collaborated for free). Applications, widgets, wikis, platforms and applications now drive the Internet. The Web 2.0 environment is all about participation, expression, creativity & community. Astounding amounts of data, information, photos, video, and music are available to any participant on the Internet. Now, social networks, which modeled and began with sites like MySpace have transformed the Internet into groups, communities and networks of people based on there interests and needs.

I found this information particularly helpful on a blog by Wayne Hodgins: http://waynehodgins.typepad.com/ontarget/ Wayne Writes:

Jared Spool at User Interface Engineering apparently shares this same concern. I highly recommend you take some time to read his recent paper called “Web 2.0: The Power Behind the Hype" where he says:

not withstanding, we still feel that this emerging standard, combined
with other new tools, such as AJAX and open source infrastructures,
makes for a new and exciting environment. There's been a tremendous
amount of hype surrounding all these new developments, but, for once,
we are thinking that there really is some power that is beneath the
hype that is worth paying attention to.”

Not only
does he talk about the shortcomings of so much hype, but he also
discusses a number of things that, parallel my own perspectives:

speed and ease at which these new applications were built is what is
getting us very excited about the potential of the Web 2.0 world."

And speaking to the power of mashups, which I’ve addressed here at Off Course – On Target, he goes on to say:

of Dr. Frankenstein building a monster in his attic laboratory using
body pieces he found lying around his neighborhood, people with a
little skill can create new applications using common elements found
lying around the Web in almost no time at all. As the skill
requirements for building these applications are decreasing, we think
this opens a whole new world of possibilities."

goes on to offer more examples of the emerging and lasting power of Web
2.0 characteristics such as APIs, RSS as an interface, folksonomies,
and connections via social network, then finishes with an emphasis on
the faster/cheaper nature of application development as well as some of
the work remaining to be done.
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Podcast is exceptional in explaining the effects of change... Now
living through the effects of unexpected change is really such an
understatement for all of us as we start 2009 in the worst economic
and political turmoil we never expected... Many of us have gone
through the past years in a blur. And in real estate, we are
told technology can make or break us.

In summary, I
would just like to encourage everyone to jump into the world of Web
2.0. Don't worry about not being a "Computer" or
"Technological" expert. The good news is that you
don't have to be a technology wizard to participate. All of the
brilliance and great minds of the Web 2.0 developers have created a
world where all that is required is your participation. You
only have to participate to receive the benefits of this world of
information technology via the internet. Millions of
applications which only require you to type, point and click are
helping create a world of information and resources. If you
take some of the simplest steps and move forward by stepping in, you
will be amazed at how you become active in communities and become
acquainted with people who have similar interests and needs.
Start by creating profiles on MySpace and FaceBook... You will
be surprised at how easy it is to become involved and participatory
in the world.


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Comments (3)

Kathy Toth
Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams - Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team

Interaction really is the key.  Twitter, Facebook, all these social media outlets require interaction.  And not just a little.  You really have to get involved in order for them to work for you.


Feb 06, 2009 02:05 PM
Lynn Cooper
Wilkinson & Associates - Charlotte, NC

Thanks Kathy for your comments... I have been talking to some of the agents that I know that work very hard every day to Blog and they are doing better than most in this down market and attribute using a mixure of blogging and social networking along with posting photos (Picasa) and using videos (YouTube).  Using just one element does not work.  You are right! 

Feb 08, 2009 12:40 PM
Gary Mitchell

Hey Lynn,  what a breath of fresh air your is understanding of the web.  However it's quite a task to be all things to all people,  I believe this Web 3.0 or Semantic Web will create many many job opportunities for the enlighted.  I'm not sure I have that much focus, but it sure seems you do and are willing to share what you learn



Mar 10, 2009 02:30 PM

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Size: 7.9 MB
Duration: 22:44

In this podcast, Living in a World of Exponential Change,
I show you how our inability to see today’s rapid change for what it
is—exponential rather than linear—keeps us from adjusting to the
challenges presented by technology and other factors. Understanding
that difference now can help us develop new strategies, take control of
our lives, and design a better future.