Mobile Web 2.0: who are the winners ?

For the moment, the Web 2.0 is making progress. New buzz words such as User Generated Content, Wiki’s, Ajax,… are rapidly getting integrated into our vocabulary. They create new challenges for traditional publishers, content providers, advertisers, retailers and telecom players. An important question that rises: what is the role of the mobile phone on the Web 2.0? Who can profit of the rising of the Mobile Web 2.0?

A brief description of the Web 2.0 is almost impossible. Founder Tim O’Reilly needs none less then 5 pages to define the developments surrounding Web 2.0 (*). Here, we highlight one major thought that allows us to estimate the role of the mobile phone.

The Web 2.0 fully uses the possibilities to collect, enrich en offer Collective Intelligence to large user groups. Contribution and participation are central step stones for the building of Web 2.0 platforms. The more they get used, the greater their value for their users.

Google PageRank, the opinions on eBay, Wikipedia, … these are examples of eco-systems that grow from the power of participation of the end user.

The capturing, encoding and stocking of small pieces of content will become more and more important for the further growth of Web 2.0. Besides large users of content, mobile phones become more and more important creators of content.

A good example is the introduction of the Miki, the mobile brother of Wiki which was launched earlier this year by the company Social Text. Via a simplified user interface the Miki allows the user to continuously keep his Wiki at hand, with his mobile.

The introduction of smartphones and mobile broadband will facilitate the recording and distribution of podcasts or vodcasts. These days the first pictures of big disasters such as the tsunami or the bomb attacks in London are no longer provided by the large press agencies. Attentive witnesses make photos and videos with their mobile and deliver them to their favorite media.

What does this mean for the traditional content providers and media players? In the traditional chain of values there’s the law that says “Content is king”. Production and media companies can get their share by controlled creation and distribution of content.

The rising of Web 2.0 platforms turns the traditional content and media business completely upside down. Content creation and content use come together. The winners are those players that manage to build up contact with the user and to create a fast self-enriching platform. “Contact is king”.

The mobile phone becomes one of the most important contact devices on the Web 2.0. Mobile operators are naturally well placed to play a key role in the further development of the (Mobile) Web 2.0 and to generate additional revenue with it. Important is that they can open up the access to the ‘off-portal’ environment fast enough. On the other hand, traditional media will have to learn to quickly serve their audience on the mobile platforms, that are complementary to their existing channels. Question is whether they can build up the skills of contact management, community management and datamining, in time before the giants of this world’s Googles beat them to it.

(*) also read http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html

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  1. Nice article I enjoyed the read and i agree with you that content is king! I work for a digital agency called Zeta and we recently published an article about mobile web 2.0 which you can view here. http://www.zeta.net/blog/2009/03/how-the-web-is-going-mobile/

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