> Web 3.oh?

Web 3.oh?

Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 | No Comments

A while ago I read speculation that “Web 3.0” was due to be based around the idea of ownership and selling of digital assets. Today the news has filtered around the web that the highest selling virtual good was sold today for $330k (a virtual space station if you’re wondering – the story can be found here).

Whilst that is all very well and good – it really was only a matter of time before we started making investments in virtual goods as something else we could spend our money on, as if the real world wasn’t expensive enough – I’ve seen two news stories that use Web 2.0 technologies for real-world savings.

It’s worth noting that both of these stories seemed to originate from within the US.

The story basically goes along the lines of businesses in the US offering discounted goods in return for the customer proving that they tweeted out an endorsement of their product/service. Also, those cities covered by Foursquare are also getting in on the offers to – check into an establishment with your geo-location, prove it and get a discount. Good examples of this are a pizzeria, tweet or check in your location to your followers and get a 20% discount on the price of your order – or prove you’ve been enticed to try the pizza out from a recommendation tweet from a follower and receive a similar discount.

In a world where Google has made billions from selling advertisements alongside their search results, it seems logical that businesses are getting in and rewarding those who provide free advertising for their business or have been willed into trying something new on a recommendation from the social networking sites.

Obviously those businesses with a good reputation and a good service will then rise to the top of these social networking recommendations and could potentially offer much greater reward in return, whilst those places that do not offer good services or products slide backwards until they discover the correct formula for their business to succeed.

It is active, real-life feedback which will make or break businesses if they do not respond to customers who know what they want. This last week and a bit, I’ve visited Nando’s chicken on two occasions and whilst they run a loyalty scheme every time you make a purchase if they were able to combine this with social networking they’d not only reward the loyal customer with free food, but also actively boost their profile – even if that persons tweets manage to entice one person to try their food, it’s another sale.

The world is changing and it appears to be built on advertising. Forget virtual goods, I’d like to see this model define Web 3.0 in some way.

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