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Karlonia.com

Survey Says: Two Out of Three Don’t Like Web 2.0

July 15th, 2008

web-20.jpgJust when I thought that everybody and their cats had embraced the idea of Web 2.0 technology, I ran across this survey from German IT security company Avira which found that two thirds of its website visitors did not like Web 2.0 for one reason or another and were not using it. Web 2.0 is a popular catch-all term that includes a wide array of Internet-based applications that allow for user interaction. These include social networking sites, wiki pages, blogs, RSS feeds, video sharing, file sharing, and a plethora of other hosted services. Here is a quick summary of the survey’s findings:

  1. 14% of Internet users communicate more online than in person.
  2. Privacy seems to be a major concern — 40% of survey participants opposed what they called “digital exhibitionism” and refuse to disclose any type of personal data on blogs, wikis, or other social networking sites.
  3. 28% think that profiles on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter do not make any sense.
  4. 10% valued the information found on blogs.
  5. 8% of survey respondents refused to use Web 2.0 platforms because of spam-related issues.

Since Karlonia.com uses a blogging format and therefore falls under the Web 2.0 umbrella, these revelations are a significant concern for me. The notion that only ten percent of Internet users are finding any useful information on my beloved blog seems pretty disturbing, but it also presents an opportunity for future growth. If the other 90% of “sheeple” out there can be reached and supplied with information that is targeted to their interests, we bloggers can significantly increase our incomes with well-placed affiliate links, AdSense units, or other forms of monetization.

Part of the challenge lies in encouraging people to overcome technophobia and acquire a basic education on how to use the Internet. Considering the fact that another recent survey I posted about back in March found that 24 percent of Internet users could not even find Google, simply bringing people up to speed with Web 1.0 will be a significant accomplishment. After they have extricated themselves from the pre-Internet dark ages, perhaps blogging and other Web 2.0 platforms will begin to make some sense to them.

Fortunately, here at Karlonia it seems that I have already addressed most of the concerns cited in the survey. For example, I have set up my commenting system so that all fields are optional. You do not need to enter an email address or even a name in order to make a comment (if you do leave the name field blank, it will display as “Anonymous”). The site will never display any of your personal information unless you choose to share it voluntarily. Even in cases where you do enter some type of identifying information (such as an email address to subscribe to comments), your privacy is still protected because the information is never shared with third parties.

I have also managed to keep spam problems at bay with the WP-SpamFree plugin while still allowing an open free speech interface for commenters. The plugin has virtually stopped all automated bot spam, but unlike certain other anti-spam solutions, does not attempt to block or filter comments from actual humans. This has worked out very well because it allows people to see their comments display immediately and even edit them later without having to worry about comments being “eaten” by spam blocker software. The only disadvantage to this system is that I am still susceptible to manually submitted human spam, but in practice this does not occur very often, and when it does I can always delete it (or remove included links if necessary) before it becomes much of a problem.

Finally, I always try to publish quality content that provides useful information on a variety of topics as opposed to just throwing up random garbage or scraping RSS feeds from other sites. Even when I reprint articles or updates that have been written by others, I will include a small amount of my own introductory text as an “extended byline” that explains exactly what I am publishing and gives proper credit to the authors. With SEO strategies, I target relevant keywords so that most of the people who land on one of my article pages are already likely to be looking for content related to the topic of the article. By providing useful, relevant information and allowing others to respond freely, I intend to preserve the original open source spirit of Web 2.0 media while enlightening as many people as possible about the merits of individual liberty.


One Response to “Survey Says: Two Out of Three Don’t Like Web 2.0”

  1. comment number 1 by: Nelson Tan

    I laugh at the label “digital exhibitionism”. I can be a pivate person but for my Internet business’ sake, I need to get the word out for my presence. Consider carefully and strategically that whatever you do or not do on the Net is for a purposeful outcome.

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