41% of UK SMEs surveyed have not heard of Web 2.0

Via Social Computing Magazine

“With Web 2.0 increasingly being covered in the media,” said Andy Peart, Chief Marketing Officer at Mediasurface, “it was interesting to see that 41% of SMEs surveyed had not heard of it, implying that the message may be getting through to larger businesses but not as efficiently to the smaller business community. ”

He was speaking about a survey – carried out by Mediasurface in May at Internet World in the UK – in which 179 attendees, from businesses with a turnover of less than £5m, were asked some key questions about how they are using their websites.

“Emphasising this point, of those SMEs that had heard of Web 2.0, only 37% felt that it would have a positive impact on their business. There is still a great opportunity to show SMEs the true value of effectively managed web content and to illustrate that Web 2.0 is all about using the power of the web for business advantage,” Peart added.

Whilst 61% of smaller businesses do not believe that their website reflects their company’s brand, 52% of individuals in these companies are unaware how often their sites are updated.

These were two of the key findings of the survey that also revealed: A staggering 1 in 10 small businesses still do not have a web presence; 37% of companies update their website weekly and 11% undertake this monthly; despite the wide-ranging publicity on Web 2.0, 41% of people were still unaware of Web 2.0; and of the companies that are aware of Web 2.0, only 37% believe that it will impact their business.

It is also interesting to note, said Peart, that only just over one third (37%) of companies updated their websites more than once a week. Dynamic, current content is a key factor in delivering a positive impression to website visitors and to keep them returning so updating content regularly is a key factor.

The fact that 11% of companies who took part in the survey still do not have a website is a worrying statistic, added Peart. Since a website is a company’s ‘virtual shop window’ and often the first port of call for many potential customers, visitors are highly influenced by the look and feel, ease of use and accessibility of information. In any competitive marketplace, a company without a website can be overlooked and may not even be taken seriously; however the results of the survey reveal that 1 in 10 smaller businesses are still not taking advantage of this critical business and marketing tool.

Where do you think the Web is going?

Via Vecosys

This week in Holland is The Next Web Conference. If you can make it to Holland, its well worth a visit.

Web 2.0 startups are making the world smaller every day. However, this new era of “trusted computing” is starting to worry me. Freedom of thought, expression and opinion is a good thing. Customers feel they are empowered to contribute, spread the word and evangelize about your brand.

But as Matt Mullenweg (WordPress), points out the in the video below. The NextGen Web is highly likely to be plagued through SPAM and other security problems as we move from the desktop to the web as our main platform. I have concerns that many people will embrace Web 2.0 technologies as embraced free love and drugs in 1970’s.

As you experiment with different technologies, picking and choosing what works best for you. Don’t forget security! If I can gain access to your goods, they are not your goods anymore!

Protect, yourself, your customers and your brand online!

WordPress Founder sounds off – CNET Interview

I came across a CNET interview video with Matt Mullenweg, co-creator of WordPress and founder of Automattic, the company that runs the blog host service WordPress.com. As you might expect, Mullenweg has an well-formed perspective on blogging. So what’s the state of the blogosphere? He sees the field as “nascent,” despite the presence of large and influential blogs that are well on their way toward challenging incumbent media

He offers some interesting insights about blogging, freedom of speech, and how candidates’ blogs in the U.S. are usually not much more than platforms for “pre-canned ideas.”

Also in this interview: how to make money from blogs (hint: Google), ICanHasCheezburger, how big the blogosphere can get and what could stop it, the potential integration of Twitter-like services into WordPress

Mullenweg is interesting to watch. He’s outspoken, articulate, and has a great perch to see this medium emerge.

Interview 1

Interview 2

Microsoft Popfly – The golden thread linking Web 2.0 together

Microsoft Popfly

Microsoft’s new web development tool “Popfly” will be an interesting technology to play with. Popfly is designed to allow non-professional programmers and hobbyists to build mash-ups, gadgets, Web sites and applications using pre-built “blocks.” As of now, there are 40 of these Web-programming blocks from which they can choose, including Flickr, Windows Live Spaces, Virtual Earth and news service blocks. (More are coming from Microsoft and third parties) Popfly users can tie together these data-source, transformation and display blocks to create their own customized mash-ups.

Sounds familiar? Well Yahoo developed their Mashup aggregrator earlier this year with Yahoo Pipes. A great concept, though its still a little too techie to use.
Popfly looks (See video below) easier to use and easier to setup.

What does this mean for you, me and and SME? Well, I have been looking for sometime for a “framework” or tool that an can be used to link different Web 2.0 technologies. (Mashups are producing truly innovative uses of mixing and matching next gen web stuff). However, I’ve not found anything that connect “the dots together”.

I’m a hoping a tool like Popfly will make it easier, to build “golden threads” connecting all the different mashups together, in an easy to use, intuitive framework.

Ray Ozzie’s influence at Microsoft is truly inspiring innovation. Well, Microsoft never really stopped innovating, but they didn’t communicate about what they were doing effectively!
The recent news and beta release of Microsoft Silverlight plugin technology (Microsoft’s Adobe Flash alternative) means the company is taking web technology serious again.

Microsoft has started sending out a few Popfly alpha invitations and plans to allow the initial group of testers to distribute more invitations virally. When released, (no final release schedule as yet) Popfly will available for free.

Anyone with a spare invite? I’d be happy and grateful to test!

I’m on the Alpha!! Thanks to Steve Clayton and Microsoft



Microsoft Popfly Overview
Watch the Popfly ScreenCast

Tubesnow.com Connect and Share anything!

Now this is great. Thanks to Alex and Kevin over at Diggnation for the tip.

Wouldn’t it be cool and very helpful to share your stuff with your friends or business associates? Tired of emailing stuff back and forth?
www.tubesnow.com has the answer.

Signup and download the small application file and create a tube to share. Think of it like a shared folder on your desktop, that you can share with people you want.
The folder is synchronised, so you can all share files in real time.

Signup today for FREE and receive 2GB of sharing bandwidth..

A nice video explaining how it works – http://www.tubesnow.com/tubetorials/FinalCreate/FinalCreate.html