Overview of Emerging Web 2.0-Based Business Models and Web 2.0 Applications in Businesses: An Ecological Perspective

Overview of Emerging Web 2.0-Based Business Models and Web 2.0 Applications in Businesses: An Ecological Perspective

In Lee (Western Illinois University, USA)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/jebr.2011100101
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Web 2.0 offers business organizations an array of new ways to interact with customers and partners. Web 2.0 is continuously evolving and offers new business models and support business processes, customer relationship management, and partner relationship management. This study reviews some of the major business applications of Web 2.0, and identifies Web 2.0-based business models. Six emerging Web 2.0-based business models were identified: (1) Broad Online Community, (2) Focused Online Community, (3) Social Shopping, (4) Content Intermediary, (5) Virtual World, and (6) Shared Web 2.0 Services. Along with these new Web 2.0-based business models, this study discusses how Web 2.0 applications are used to support activities of traditional businesses in the areas of customers, value networking, capability, and sustainability. Finally, the interaction dynamics between emerging web 2.0-based businesses, existing businesses, and the Web 2.0 tool and application development industry are analyzed from an ecological viewpoint.
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2. Literature Review

Web 2.0 refers to the multitude of new ways that the Internet is used as a platform for developing and hosting software applications and developing and exchanging digital contents by the businesses and users. Due to the easy publication and editing of online content, Web 2.0 has already had great impacts on the ways that people interact and businesses operate. A global survey conducted by McKinsey in 2007 finds that the popularity of Web 2.0-based applications is growing among businesses (McKinsey Survey on Internet Technologies, 2007). While most companies surveyed have so far integrated a limited number of these applications into their business strategies, the large majority have indicated that Web 2.0 integration is important for maintaining the company’s market position, providing a competitive edge, and addressing customer demand. Other studies on Web 2.0 adoption indicate that the benefits of the Web 2.0 applications come from knowledge management initiatives (Cayzer, 2004; Wagner, 2004), project management efforts (Miller, 2006), and social networks that connect employees (Middleton, 2008). Businesses can leverage Web 2.0 technologies in order to dynamically cooperate with customers and partners in efforts to generate new design innovations (Brown, 2008).

McAfee (2006) coined the term “enterprise 2.0” to describe the application of Web 2.0 to the enterprise utilizing wikis and social networking software to support and enhance the continuously changing and emergent collaborative structures of knowledge work across the enterprise. Organizations need to invest in Web 2.0 technologies differently from the way they invested in information technology (IT) projects in the past. Organizations will have to find new ways of management to respect the freedom, openness, and sociality inherent to Web 2.0 technologies (De Hertogh & Viaene, 2010).

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