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Friday, January 2, 2009

Web 2.0 – What is It and Should You Care?

Web 2.0 – What is It and Should You Care?

By Nikki Leigh

Web 2.0 – it isn’t as complicated as it sounds and it is very beneficial for you to learn more about it. Let me start by saying that you are probably already using Web 2.0, but you don’t know it. Web 2.0 is a term that is being heard more often each day. These are great new options that we have on the internet and they can be very beneficial to you and your promotion.

What is Web 2.0

The simplest definition of Web 2.0 is “any option that gives you the opportunity and ability to interact with others”. Interacting with potential customers is something that should be important to any author or business person that wants to get information out about their product or service.

In the past, we were limited by how much and how easily we could communicate on the internet. Think back a few years ago when only people who knew HTML code could post information online. However, with the arrival of Web 2.0, almost anyone can post content online to share with other people.

This is the biggest difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 -

· Web 1.0 – Webmasters could post content and basically had control of what was available

· Web 2.0 – The general public can post content and has control of what is available

Below are questions to give you examples of Web 2.0 options on the internet.

· Have you posted a video on YouTube?

· Have you watched a video on YouTube?

· Have you read or posted information on a blog?

· Have you listened to or recorded a podcast?

· Do you have a profile page on MySpace, Facebook, Linked or other social networking sites?

· Have you posted pictures on any picture sharing sites on the internet?

All of these are examples of Web 2.0 and many people are already using Web 2.0 technology without knowing it. But, why is this important to your promotion?

Why You Care

Authors, artists, and other business people benefit when they get their message in front of their target audience and when they can interact with potential customers. Web 2.0 gives you many ways to do that. One advantage is that you can reach a worldwide audience if you want. A second advantage is that you can do targeted marketing to reach only the people you choose. This targeted marketing gives you the best chance of making a sale because it gets your message in front of the people who want or need the product or service you want to sell.

Below are some social media and Web 2.0 examples and the benefits from each. The ideas I share here are just some of the ways to use these websites to promote your work. The options are only limited by your creativity. One of the things I love about my work is customizing a promotional campaign for business people and their products or services. There are unlimited ways to do this with Web 2.0.

Facebook – Facebook gives you the opportunity to network with new people. You can search to locate your target audience and then present your product or service through your profile page, various applications, groups and fan pages you can easily create to promote your work. Facebook also offers targeted advertising on their site.

My Space – This site offers the chance to meet new people and network with them. Searches for your target audience are possible on MySpace. Your profile page, bulletins, blog posts, comments, videos, pictures and discussion groups provide opportunities to present your information and to communicate with other people.

YouTube – YouTube is a great place to post videos or promotional trailers about you and the products or services you offer. This is a great opportunity to literally speak to your target audience. There are also tools to get your videos in front of more people. You can comment on videos that attract your target audience to get your name in front of them.

Amazon – People with items on Amazon have many ways to build up a presence on the Amazon website, their sales pages, through a blog on Amazon, submitting ratings and comments – to name a few. I’m working on an e-book to help people increase the effectiveness of their Amazon presence.

Linked In – This website is a great place for business people to network. It is different from MySpace and Facebook, but it provides extensive business information and background for members. You can connect with others, write testimonials, share details about your professional background and much more. An interesting area of Linked In is the “answers” section. It’s a great way to boost your online credibility.

Online Credibility

We’ve all seen and heard about scams on the internet. It’s a great place for people to establish and promote a business, but that also attracts people who want to make a fast buck and who cheat people. That is one reason why it is important to build online credibility. Through the internet, you can network and do business with people around the world, if you want. That distance makes it important to prove your expertise and help potential clients see you have something of value to offer. You can do this through the information you share, answers and comments you post, examples of your work, testimonials and references from past clients and much more.

Use Blogs to Promote

Anyone who wants to promote on the internet needs to have a blog. Having an effective and active blog is no longer an option. A blog gives you the chance to get yourself in front of people who need your product or service, share useful information, stay in touch with potential clients, and more. However, once you start a blog, it is critical to keep it active. Search engines love blogs. This means that you and your information will be in search engines almost overnight. When people are searching for something – the vast majority start with a search engine. They need to be able to find you there.

Virtual blog tours are a great way to utilize Web 2.0 options. In the tours I coordinate, I use blogs, podcasts, radio shows, and any other avenues that I can find to get the word out about a client’s product or service. Your information gets into the search engines right away and is archived so people can find your details long after they are posted.

The internet is a gift for people who want to promote their business, products or services to a small or large audience. There are many free promotional options on the internet that we can utilize. Who you target is up to you, but either way, the internet is a gift that you need to unwrap and dig deeper into the opportunities that it offers.

Nikki Leigh is an award winning fiction and non fiction author. She has over fifteen years of promotional experience. This background has been helpful with her book promotion and her new promotional venture, Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tours which offers many online promotional options. Her book -Book Promo 101 lets her share many of the things she's learned. Her latest book (coming soon) – Book Promo 201: Learn to Promote on the Internet With Web 2.0 delves into much more detail about these topics. For details about the Book Promo 101 series and your other promotional options, visit www.nikkileigh.com/promo.htm. For detailed promotional and virtual blog tour information, visit - http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/. The most up to date information is posted at www.twitter.com/litekepr

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