Thursday, April 19, 2007

Web 2.0: Which will be the next killer site?

Web 2.0

There seems to be little doubt at this point that participation websites are the biggest Web thing going right now. Google's purchase of YouTube for over $1B has certainly put the betting money on so-called user generated content sites.

In what direction is all of this taking us and who will be the next big Web 2.0 players? Hitwise is an online competitive intelligence service that provides daily insights on how 25 million people interact with over 900,000 websites in 160+ industries. Their research indicates that early adopters of the now legendary websites Wikipedia, Flickr and YouTube are now using six websites that may be the next big thing.

Using demographic categories such as Money and Brains, Young Digerati and Bohemian Mix, in their analysis, Hitwise identified the following six websites that these categories are drawn to: Yelp, StumbleUpon, Veoh, WeeWorld, Imeem and Piczo.

Yelp describes itself as the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what's great (and not so great) in your world. People know that asking friends is the best way to find restaurants, dentists, hairstylists, and anything local. Yelp makes this fast and easy by collecting and organizing friends' recommendations in one convenient place. As of this time, it appears that the site is limited to major metropolitan areas.

StumbleUpon describes itself as a sharing and recommendation site. StumbleUpon uses ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages which friends and like-minded stumblers have recommended. This helps you discover great content you probably wouldn't find using a search engine. Some stumblers have favorite library pages.

Veoh is another video sharing site. Veoh is a suite of applications for collecting, publishing, and watching a vast selection of HD-quality video programming. Veoh is a diverse, virtual community of indie publishers coming together with their new audiences. and the Veoh Player software (installed on PCs or Macs) combine as a virtual television network that organizes, showcases, and delivers clear, full-screen video programming to anyone with a broadband connection.

imeem is a self-described online community where artists, fans & friends can promote their content, share their tastes, and discover new blogs, photos, music and video.

WeeWorld and Piczo are also social networking sites. Their focus is on a younger teenage audience so I will not describe them here.

As I looked at four sites, I tried to imagine their value for academic librarians. StumbleUpon seems the most likely site that an academic librarian could use. Numerous sites can be tagged and recommended by a member and then shared with students, faculty and colleagues. I will give it a try and share my experience with you in the future.

Related article: YouTube, Flickr & Wikipedia killers revealed (PC Advisor, 18 April 2007)

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