The Organic Marketer

Last Rites for Web 2.0? Quite the Contrary.

I read an interesting article this morning that was based on an interview with Clark Kokich, CEO of Razorfish, what might best be described as a new media integration agency. At the heart of the article was the need for innovation as we travel the path from familiarization and utilization of common Web 2.0 tools to the somewhat nebulous and uncertain world of Web 3.0.

Almost everyone knows at least the components of Web 2.0 — blogs, social networking, etc. — even if they aren’t familiar with the term. Indeed, defining Web 3.0, even according to Wikipedia, is difficult since “the nature of defining Web 3.0 is highly speculative. In general it refers to aspects of the internet which, though potentially possible, are not technically or practically feasible at this time.”

In fact, many have said that while Web 2.0 is a moniker for the activities of the “mass of amateurs,” Web 3.0 refers more to distillation and concentration of expert advice and information, delivered to and accessed by consumers in an as yet, untold and undetermined manner.
On the other hand, according to Razorfish’s CEO, his vision of Web 3.0 involves an integration of interactive tools and technologies. What I think he is referring to is a system whereby many Web 2.0 and social marketing tools, techniques and tactics come together into an integrated strategy of branding, communication, marketing and even shifts in ways businesses and organizations interact with consumers through technology.

One thing is for certain, the article talks about how the largest roadblock to this level of integration is the client. While agencies like Razorfish and even my own, DC Interactive Group, craft innovative programs to integrate advanced media tools and old fashioned marketing smarts, it’s almost always the client who stands in their own way.

Case in point: Our agency has a rather revolutionary program that combines some of Web 2.0’s strongest tactics — blogging, social networking, targeted e-mail, online monitoring, social seeding and bookmarking — with Web 0.0 strategies like acting on behalf of the client as a concierge, making sure questions are answered and concerns are addressed.

It’s a program that is incredibly successful. So much so, in fact, that clients on the program are enjoying dramatic increases in online, revenue-generating interactions, increased positive press and recognition as innovators in their industries, and flocking to re-sign for the new year.

But the problem is, the program could be vastly more successful if clients weren’t continually stepping on themselves as we implement the campaigns. While most of today’s smart marketers have a good familiarity with Web 2.0, they still stand by the unproven “successes” of traditional media — most uses of still don’t even have tracking components to measure their effectiveness.

In conclusion, Web 2.0 certainly isn’t dead. And while Razorfish’s CEO, Clark Kokich, may think integration of these tools into a cohesive, effective strategy is what Web 3.0 will end up being, I’d challenge that there are some agencies now who regularly do this for their clients and that Web 3.0 will instead consist of innovative and transparent delivery of expert information to consumers who don’t even perceive of things like blogs, social networking and other Web 2.0 tools.


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