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Is Your Site "Web 2.0" or 1.0?
Or, do you plan to go "2.0" any time soon?
FourDegreez

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 3:06 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

This topic came up in another thread, but I think it's an interesting question. Yes I know, "Web 2.0" is a buzz word that annoys some people. But it is also a useful term, refering to web sites that are more interactive, often having AJAX components, dynamic/user-generated content, social networking, content sharing, etc.

The 1.0 site, in contrast, would be mostly static HTML pages and/or a basic CMS, and maybe a forum or blog.

So do you have a Web 2.0 site? If not, do you plan to go in that direction? If you don't, is it because you consider Web 2.0 a passing fad, or because you just aren't interested in that type of site? If you have both types, which performs better with AdSense and why?

 

zCat

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 1:26 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm programming what one would probably call a "Web 2.0" site right now. It's in a niche area which lends itself to interactivity and and inter-user communication (among a more educated class of user, not your average MySpace hoi-polloi ;-) and provides value in the way similar, but "Web 1.0"-based sites can't.

However, the technology is not particularly Web 2.0-ish - the functionality isn't dependent on AJAX or snazzy scripted effects, and so far it only needs a smattering of JavaScript to work around the odd HTML deficiency.

I've no idea how it would perform with AdSense - I suspect it will require careful selection of when and where to show ads.

maximillianos

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 1:29 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

But it is also a useful term, refering to web sites that are more interactive, often having AJAX components, dynamic/user-generated content, social networking, content sharing, etc.

The only thing "new" about the above is perhaps the use of AJAX. If the above is the proper definition of 2.0, then my sites have been doing it since 1999... Which makes it a viable business model in my opinion... =)

AJAX is not a distraction if used properly. It allows you to accomplish some backend server tasks that you would normally have to refresh a page for... but no longer. We've added it to all our sites to help streamline the user experience and keep bots at bay in regards to protecting our commenting... But you would never guess or notice it as a user unless you were a savvy developer... which is the way it should be.

wrgvt

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 2:06 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

The problem with web 2.0 from the webmaster's perspective is that instead of creating the content, you have to manage the content. That often means managing other people's behavior and that can get old quickly. There are people who think they can say or insert anything they want, and spammers who will overrun it if they can find a way to gain that edge. I imagine that can be frustrating for a webmaster, and might require more than one person (and maybe an attorney on retainer) to keep on top of things.

Also, the constant managing of content means you can't get away from it. I'm going on vacation tomorrow and my sites won't receive any update to the site content while I'm away. No problem with that. If I had a web 2.0 site where the users generated the content and I went away for a week or two, chaos might reign supreme in my absence.

This effect on a site with AdSense can be extreme. Inappropriate content submitted by users can everything from PSAs to run on the site to outright banning by Google. With a web 1.0 site that provides informational content, people searching for information are probably more likely to click an AdSense ad to continue or refine their search. For an interactive or user-generated web 2.0 site, the site's visitors are more interested in offering information than searching for it, and are therefore less likely to click any ads.

farmboy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 2:26 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

i think "what is web 2.0" is not the issue here.

The original question was, "Is Your Site "Web 2.0" or 1.0?"

It's difficult to answer that question unless there is a solid definition of 2.0.

--------------------------------------------

That often means managing other people's behavior and that can get old quickly. There are people who think they can say or insert anything they want, and spammers who will overrun it if they can find a way to gain that edge. I imagine that can be frustrating for a webmaster, and might require more than one person (and maybe an attorney on retainer) to keep on top of things.

Wikipedia, for example, has some level of control over content, but its credibility is certainly not without controversy.

When I hear the term "Web 2.0" I can't help but think the information I might find on that site is about as reliable as having a conversation with the audience at a Jerry Springer show taping.

I suppose a person could put AdSense on those type pages and earn some money, but just like with MFA's, it's not the business model I choose.

FarmBoy

ebound

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 2:51 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm web 1.2. I've adopted some features from web 2.0 that are USEFUL TO MY USERS. I refuse to cram my site full of 2.0 features that are of no good use.

dataguy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 3:01 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have both types, Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.

My Web 2.0 site receives 15 times the visitors as my Web 1.0 site, and those visitors view more pages and stay longer. Both sites produce about the same eCPM in AdSense, which means my Web 2.0 site produces about 40 times the revenue of my Web 1.0 site. Enough revenue to employ half a dozen 'editors' to look after things and keep them tidy and still have a lot of money left over at the end of the month.

Web 2.0 is more than AJAX, user created content and tagging. A large part of Web 2.0 is about when users are able to feel like in some small way they have some ownership of a site. When you have a web site that a whole community of others look after like it's their own, you have a goldmine. That's what MySpace, FaceBook, Digg, etc. have going for them.

This is why Web 2.0 is so hard to define. WebmasterWorld has a large community taking ownership of small parts of the site, but at the same time most forums don't have that. So forums can be Web 2.0, but most are not.

I've never understood why so many webmasters are anti-Web 2.0. Aren't there more of of us out there who want to invent the next MySpace? I know I sure do.

blur

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 3:15 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Web 2.0 is just a buzzword

ddogg

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 4:51 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Web 2.0 is mostly about making a rather useless application look pretty with AJAX, big fonts, and lots of color.

The goal of any Web 2.0 site owner is to sell to Google or another big web company.

User-generated content was around long before 'Web 2.0' was being thrown around.

Everytime I hear the term 'Web 2.0', a little piece of me dies inside.

wyweb



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 6:43 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I can name web 3.0 right now. I can't define it but I can name it.

You heard it here first.

wyweb



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 6:49 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I can sort of define it too.. web 3.0 will be so much interactivity that surfers won't know what to do. If they even think about clicking on something it will automatically be on their screen...

Considering buying a car? Web 3.0 will read your mind and automatically serve you appropriate ads...

Need to lose weight (me)? Web 3.0 knows that already and gives you multiple options...

We could go on like this all day... marketing scheme. Pure and simple...

gibbergibber

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 7:03 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm sorry, but "Web 2.0" IS meaningless. Until someone can say exactly what it means, it's not useful at all.

Majority of site is user created content? Done in the 1990s (doesn't anyone remember Geocities?!).

IM? Done in the 1990s.

Friend lists? Done in the 1990s.

Online diaries? Done in the 1990s.

Password access to friends' sites? Done in the 1990s.

Social matchup sites (dating, friendship, penpals etc)? Done on bulletin board services in the 1980s, even before the web existed.

Message boards? Done in the 1980s.

Chatting? Done in the 1980s.

Mailing lists? Done in the 1980s.

I can see the general drift they're getting at, that sites are often based around the users rather than any particular topic, but there have always been sites like that, and it's just a trend rather than a technology. There's no way of pinning trends like that down to a definite set of sites or rules.

Terms like Ajax are a bit better, application-like sites that let you access different bits of information without moving to a new URL, but even that has a lot of overlap with pre-Ajax java and flash sites.

The only real use I can see for "web 2.0" is to impress journalists, shareholders and other people who are very excited about the internet but don't really understand what's going on. It's right up there with "cyberspace" and "information superhighway".

wyweb



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 7:21 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

doesn't anyone remember Geocities

Oh yeah. that's how I learned HTML... making pages with their drag and drop editor and then copying source. I'd save it locally and then do wierd stuff to it to see what happened. Then I'd try to fix it. I don't advise this as a learning tool for anyone but, well, there it is...

My apologies for getting off topic here...

isorg

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 7:26 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

My site is Web 1.0 but desires to be Web 2.0. However, 95% of my users are Web 0.5, so it makes no sense to upgrade.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 7:54 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think "Web 2.0" can be summarized as:

"Create an application that will encourage users to build content and traffic for you."

The tough part is figuring out how to make money with that user-supplied, "social networking"-driven traffic-- unless you're selling out to someone else, as YouTube did to Google, in which case you're grabbing the other guy's wallet as you're tagging him and saying "You're 'it'!"

wyweb



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 8:23 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Your description of a forum isn't much better than the last one EFV... and I had such high hopes...

FourDegreez

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 12:55 am on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

dataguy, it sounds like I'm in a similar situation to you. I have one site that I'd call Web 2.0, and it gets a strong flow of traffic. As evidenced by this thread, the 2.0 trend gets a lot of abuse from many webmasters. I'm not totally sure why, but I could hazard a guess that it has something to do with programming not being a strong skill among many in this gig.

I've been doing web programming since 1998. Most of the 2.0 concepts were around in the 90s. But I don't think these concepts hit critical mass until the last few years, though. Heck, the technology for AJAX was around in the 90s. It just wasn't applied in the ways it is now.

So some people will continue to scoff at the term "Web 2.0"--yeah, it's a buzzword, but I decided awhile back that it's a useful one. For the people who scoff, this wasn't meant to be a thread for you to bash the term. It was meant to be a thread about AdSense on these types of sites vs. traditional sites.

So I've had a positive experience with AdSense on a Web 2.0 site (I've even styled the site in the typical "2.0" colors and curvy borders...c'mon guys, have a little fun!). I would agree with those who have said the greatest challenge is trying to maintain some control over what your users do on your site. This is something that I try to automate to a large extent, and will continue to work on. wrgvt makes a good point, in that you have to babysit this type of site to some degree. I suppose it wouldn't be too difficult to hire people to do much of the babysitting for you, though.

I reject the idea that Web 2.0 sites exist solely to be bought out or to be "like MFAs." I wouldn't sell my site. And I add my own content and do what I can to "set the tone" on the site, trying to reduce the low quality stuff and create something that people genuinely enjoy. It's still very much a work in progress, I won't deny. But in the past year I've gotten some deep links that people would be envious of, including one from MSNBC. So I must be doing something right. =)

chikung

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 2:22 am on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Create an application that will encourage users to build content and traffic for you."

Whay I don't understand in this is, how can anyone guarentees that user building content is original. If it is duplicated, its against adsense TOC. There was a time when I was almost carried away by the concept of user building content but now I feel its risky. And I feel that mere disclaimer statement won't work mentioning we have no responsibility whatsoever.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 2:55 am on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Whay I don't understand in this is, how can anyone guarentees that user building content is original.

Nobody can. That's the risk you run when you turn editorial responsibility over to users.

danny

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 3:12 am on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think my sites are more Web 0.1 -- they've been around in much the same form as now since 1995.

I've thought about adding user-contributed comments every so often, but the complexity doesn't seem worth the gain.

nomis5

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 7:28 am on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

"So do you have a Web 2.0 site?"
No, if it isn't broken, don't fix it.

"If not, do you plan to go in that direction?"
Probably not on existing sites. I would investigate for a new one.

"If you don't, is it because you consider Web 2.0 a passing fad, or because you just aren't interested in that type of site?"
I would need some clear definition of what it was and the benefits and downsides. At the moment there is not enough information. "Bleeding" edge technology (or just plain different technology) has nearly always failed first time round IMO.

wyweb



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 8:06 am on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Bleeding" edge technology (or just plain different technology) has nearly always failed first time round IMO

Exactly. Thank you. I think we'll sit this one out and concentrate on reviews for now, most of which have been negative so far... at least from what I've seen.

jetteroheller

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jetteroheller us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 12:49 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

All my sites are 1.0

Forums are to much a risk for copyright violations,
not legal content and other problems.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 3:13 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would need some clear definition of what it was and the benefits and downsides.

Or, better yet:

"I'm not doing a Web 2.0 site because I've already got a successful Web business, and I don't have the time or need to experiment with a new business model."

FourDegreez

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 3:16 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Re: being held liable for user behavior

Legislation in the US, including the DMCA and the Communications Decency Act, gives publishers certain rights and protections from liability. (see here [copyright.gov], for example)

Of course it's a new area of law, without a lot of precedent. The good news is, there are people with deep pockets who fight and lobby on your side in this arena.. Google, AOL, Yahoo, News Corp., etc.

dataguy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 3:35 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

dataguy, it sounds like I'm in a similar situation to you. I have one site that I'd call Web 2.0, and it gets a strong flow of traffic. As evidenced by this thread, the 2.0 trend gets a lot of abuse from many webmasters. I'm not totally sure why, but I could hazard a guess that it has something to do with programming not being a strong skill among many in this gig.

Yeah, you would have thought that the original question was "do you use the Alexa toolbar?" to elicit such a reaction.

I don't know why people keep arguing about Web 2.0 as a technology. As long as people look at it as a technology they just aren't going to get it. It really is a different way of thinking. Kind of open source instead of proprietary. There will alway be a need for proprietary software, but is there anyone who thinks open source is just a fad?

Take my neighborhood barber shop for example. 15 years ago they said they would never take credit cards. Why fix something that ain't broke? Well, sometimes you need to embrace change. Paying by credit card is not a passing fad, it will not be replaced by cash, it will be replaced by the next big thing. My barber shop won't be in business long enough to see what replaces credit cards because they still only accept cash. They've been in business a long time, but they are closing next month. Do you really think that after Web 2.0, people will go back to Web 1.0?

Web 2.0 definitely does not work for every business model, that's for sure, but I think it would work for most, at least on some level. There was a time when webmasters were looking for under-served markets to build niche web sites for and those who came late to the party missed out. We will probably see a time where webmasters look for under-served markets to build niche Web 2.0 web sites for, and the last ones to that party will again lose out. I've always loved a good party.

As for AdSense income, the question for me is if my goal is to make $30 a day from AdSense or $3,000 a day. I can hardly imagine a situation where a Web 1.0 site will make $3,000 a day from AdSense, yet I see it as a very attainable goal for a Web 2.0 site. (Not that I'm there yet, but that is my goal.)

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 3:43 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

So do you have a Web 2.0 site?

No, but I have websites that perform very well that could probably be classified as Web 3.0. ;)

If not, do you plan to go in that direction?

Only if the campaign requires an element classifed as Web 2.0.

If you don't, is it because you consider Web 2.0 a passing fad, or because you just aren't interested in that type of site?

Not really a passing fad but a stage setting transition for the next phase of the Internet. Now it just has a name. I think we're all involved in the transition at some level.

Web 2.0 also opens up a whole can of worms in regards to maintenance, security, investment, etc. I think many overdo the Web 2.0 thingy and their users get lost with all the widgets and gadgets. Don't get me wrong, people use them. I just find no real value in most of them.

When a visitor lands on a property that I manage and/or own, they are typically there for one thing and that's what they are going to get. No frills, no bells, no whistles. Just a subtle but effective message to BUY! They are most likely going to find what they were looking for in those first few hundred pixels referred to as Above the Fold or ATF.

[edited by: jatar_k at 4:16 pm (utc) on Aug. 12, 2007]

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 5:34 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not really a passing fad but a stage setting transition for the next phase of the Internet. Now it just has a name.

"Web 2.0" isn't the next phase, it's a product extension.

Skeptic

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 6:59 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm following Microsoft's lead. After advancing to Web 3.31, I am jumping to Web '95.

moTi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 9:40 am on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think there are basically two Internets: 1.0 (business) and 2.0 (social).

agreed. or:

web 1.0 = information
web 2.0 = socialisation

I can hardly imagine a situation where a Web 1.0 site will make $3,000 a day from AdSense, yet I see it as a very attainable goal for a Web 2.0 site.

web 2.0 sites may attract more visitors (or better: users), but on the other hand, most of them struggle with adsense metrics and very low income per visitor. it's a different purpose: people who visit a social network use its communication and entertainment features in the first place. they are not looking for product information. they don't get prepared to buy something. they are not in a buying mood, so they don't click on ads.
additionally the website owner has multiple the costs of maintainig the platform components and user base. so the bottom line is uncertain.

for adsense (at least the common cpc version), your website topic, orientation towards information and ability to convert traffic into clicks is crucial. the latter is more feasible with an information based website without a load of interactive applications that distract users from consuming google ads.

[edited by: moTi at 9:51 am (utc) on Aug. 12, 2007]

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 2:01 pm on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

MoTi makes some excellent points. A couple of interesting tidbits from other sources:

- A Bear Stearns analyst has estimated that YouTube made about $15 million in revenues in 2006. That's for the entire year, on a site that had billions of page views during that period.

- News Corp.'s Fox Interactive (which owns MySpace) had a profit of only $10 million on revenues of only $550 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2007. I say "only" because MySpace has been known to generate 4.3 billion page views in a single day. (I recall reading somewhere that MySpace's average CPM was something like a dime, at least in the past, which goes to show that all audiences and content don't have the same value to advertisers--or to publishers who rely on ad revenues.)

dataguy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3417959 posted 2:39 pm on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

moTi and EVF makes some good points. I think as the Web matures there will have to be some more well-defined definitions of types of sites.

web 1.0 = information
web 2.0 = socialisation

This is a good start, though I think Wikipedia is a good example of 2.0 and it is the Mother of All Information Sites. I work hard to make my own Web 2.0 web site full of useful information, and it has a similar eCPM as my 1.0 site (mid teens).

One similar debate is if a legitimate business plan for a web site can rely on organic (free) search engine traffic. This debate raises similar ire mainly because of the same conflict of two completely different types of sites. A Web 1.0 site business plan probably needs to not completely rely on organic search engine traffic. A Web 2.0 site typically makes its money in much smaller increments, so there is probably no possible way for a Web 2.0 site to succeed without organic traffic. Does that mean that a Web 2.0 site can not be a legitimate business? I hope not!

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