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Wyoming Business Tips for Jan. 11-17


January 5, 2009 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Michael Lambert, Wyoming Market Research Center manager

"I have been hearing about Web 2.0 and that I should implement this in my business. Now there is Web 3.0. What way should I go?" Confused in Casper

I agree, the constant sprouting of new "Webs" is confusing. There are about as many definitions of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 as there are writers. This is my take: In Web 1.0, back in the ancient days of the 1990s, the Web was a content organizer. Books, documents, music and all sorts of data were moved into digital format and became easily accessible to more people than ever before. The primary tool of Web 1.0 is the Web site.

Web 2.0, which is where most of us are now, is really about sharing and community. While Web 1.0 is pretty much a solitary thing, with Web 2.0, people started looking at creating the data and information, and finding ways to share it with others.

This gave the rise to social networking sites such as FaceBook and MySpace. Retailers embraced Web 2.0 by adding reviews of products by consumers and by allowing customers to create wish lists and other ways to share information.

If you have shopped on Amazon.com, you have seen this. Other Web 2.0 products are photo sharing programs such as Flickr, blogs by pretty much everyone on the planet and networking sites such as LinkedIn. The bottom line is that Web 2.0 personalizes the Internet, allowing you to find and share information with others. If you want to reach a younger audience, look into expanding a Web presence to incorporate parts of what is available.

So what about Web 3.0? One train of thought is that Web 3.0 will be dominated by "Cloudware." Mark Benioff, Salesforce.com CEO, says the rallying cry of Web 3.0 is "anyone can innovate, anywhere."

He envisions a total change in the way software services are delivered. He sees the death of the traditional model of software. Rather than buying a box containing Microsoft Office, Web 3.0 will find accessing a similar suite of programs at low or no cost with data being stored on a secure server.

This is called cloud computing, and it may mean you won't need a computer to create a spreadsheet or write a letter. Your Internet phone may be all the PC needed for much of what you do.

Parts of Web 3.0 are already out there. OpenOffice, available free for download, is a fairly competent suite of word processing, spreadsheet, graphics and database. In the future, you may not even need to install this type of program on a PC, but simply log into a Web site like you do with Yahoo or Facebook and have instant access to all needed documents and data.

For more information about Web 2.0 and 3.0, the services of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz or the Market Research Center, contact Mike Lambert at mikelamb@uwyo.edu.

For an opportunity to post comments on this article, go to the www.wyomingentrepreneur.biz Web site, enter the blog site.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, e-mail wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY 82071-3922. Additional help is available at the WSBDC Web page at www.wyomingentrepreneur.biz.

Posted on Monday, January 05, 2009

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