If you want to join the awesome Web 2.0 trend this is a good time to create your own awesome new service. Here is how to do it.
First you need an awesome name. There are two types of names we can use:
- dotted names like del.ico.us for example
- dropped vowel names like flickr
You need to pick one of the two. If you don’t like either of them, then you might as well stop now. You are obviously not ready for Web 2.0.
For the sake of this post I will create a mock company so I can illustrate some of my pointers here by example. I picked the dropped vowel option and named my site awsomr because it will clearly be way “awesomer” than any other website on the internet. Please note that the name ends in an r. Your name could end in another letter, but it is not recommended.
We have a name, so now we need to create an ultra spiffy logo. Here is the one I created for awsomr:
There are few important features of the logo that are worth mentioning:
- One letter in the logo must be a different color
- Beta tag is mandatory
- Reflection is optional but recommended
Your logo may be slightly different, but please remember that every good Web 2.0 logo must have that one weird letter and a beta tag. Trust me on this – you will thank me later when Yahoo buys your startup, and you are rolling in dough.
Nothing says that you are on the absolute bleeding edge of awesomness more than a little beta tag next to your name. All those websites that are out of beta can be considered mature and therefore old and uncool! You don’t want to look like some crappy Web 1.0 site! Being in perpetual beta stage tells everyone that you are new, cool and hip!
In addition, if your site is buggy no one will blame you. You can always point to that beta tag and say you are still working on removing all the little glitches. Once you get out of beta, the site will be so awesome it will blow their pants off. But for now they just have to deal. You should set up a little bur reporting tool where users can submit complaints, and you can pretend that you are fixing them.
Now that the important stuff is out of the way let’s talk about functionality. One core feature that you must absolutely, definitely have is tagging. No respected Web 2.0 would be completed without implementing tags of some sort. You also have to have one page with a tag cloud. What is that? It is that one page when you put all the keywords on the screen and you make the popular ones freakin huuge, and the stupid unpopular ones really tiny. This is currently the most awesome and hip way to graphically illustrate the keyword distribution on your page and you must have it.
The other important thing you need to have, is AJAX! And lots of it! Every web form should like flash, and fade out when you use it. You should have awesome transition effects where you dim the whole page, and put a super cool “loading” spinner image in the middle. In fact everything should be loaded dynamically! Every time your visitor has to reload a page you start to look like an old fashioned Web 1.0 page. And if someone complains that because of all the dynamic loading you can’t actually link to an individual page, tell them they just don’t get the Web 2.0 coolness.
You should also remind the user that you use AJAX, and tell him how awesome it is somewhere on your page. You should also say it would be even more awesome, but you are still in beta so he just have to hang on and wait for the cool stuff to trickle in.
The nice thing about Web 2.0 is that you don’t have to worry about writing user guides, manuals or FAQ’s. You can just setup a wiki and the users will do it for you. Wiki will make your site look really cool, showing that you are all about community, and user generated input. Wikis are awesome cool!
In fact, your core content should be all user generated. Generating your own content is an old fashioned Web 1.0 thing. The less work you have to do, the cooler you are. You see, users love to feel like they are in control. They are not, but if you make them feel like they are, they will love you for it.
That’s why you must create a community building module with user profiles, discussion boards, blogs and etc… Yes, users should be able to blog on your site even if your main focus has nothing to do with blogging. They should also be able to upload pictures, post their hobbies and interests. It is a pain in the ass, but every good Web 2.0 site must be to some degree a networking/dating site to succeed. Just give your users some minimalistic community functionality and they will be happy. Look at myspace – that page totally sucks and yet people love it.
After you have all of that cool stuff in place you need to publish some feeds. I recommend posting around 7 of them for good measure (main page content rss, main page content atom, user comments rss, user comments atom and etc..). You should put around 20 something buttons in your sidebar allowing people to subscribe to these feeds with bloglines, yahoo, msn and all the other online readers. Yeah, everyone knows how to subscribe to a feed using their favorite reader. But these buttons are not redundant. They are very important in establishing your degree of awesomness. The more feed reader and subscription services you can list, the cooler you are.
You should also integrate other Web 2.0 sites into your interface. Each user generated item should have around 20 buttons associated with it, allowing people to submit it to del.icio.us, furl, digg, redit and etc… Make sure you use little graphical icon to represent each site. Some people may claim this is visual clutter, but in Web 2.0 we call this synergy.
If you follow these instructions very closely, you may create a successful Web 2.0 site. Then you just have to sit back and wait for Yahoo to buy you out. Good luck!
Disclaimer: for the people who don’t get it, this is posted under humor for a reason. It is a joke. For the record: I love community based sites, and wikis. I often contribute to wikipedia, and I use flickr and del.icio.us on a daily basis. I’m not hating – I’m just poking fun on the whole Web 2.0 hype.
Furthermore, I do not claim that this is accurate definition of Web 2.0. I’m just bullshitting around. If you want a real and serious look on design patterns and business models of Web 2.0 sites please check out this O’Reilly article.
The logo was generated using the Web 2.0 Logo Creator. Go make your own today.
[tags]web 2.0, web, flickr, del.icio.us, 2.0, synergy, tagging, blogging[/tags]