With the current dynamic landscape of the Web, how does one define success on the Internet? Did the definition of success change when businesses are evolving into the Web 2.0? I aim to find that out.
According to Merriam-Webster, Success is defined as:
1 obsolete : OUTCOME, RESULT
2 a : degree or measure of succeeding b : favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence
But then again, how does that apply to the new Web 2.0? I don’t think it does.
Many online companies believe in measuring their audience merely by page views, formerly known as ‘page hits’. I would honestly say that if a company only measures their success by their PV’s then there is a serious problem. They should be measuring the vibe online communities discuss about them, their online and offline advertising, organic sales, and of course — their own product. I mean I love my blog and the PVs it garners, but more importantly, I mind the discussions online around it.
Let’s take a look at comparing MW’s definition of “Success” to Kevin Rose’s social news and information Web site, Digg. Is that generating wealth? Not organically, they don’t sell products, but they do profit from their advertising, I’m sure it pays the bills and some salaries. Digg is successful because of the network they’ve established in the news. I will guess that in the next five years, Digg will become one of the largest news and information hubs online, akin to CNN of today.
So, from the example of Digg like I mentioned, it appears the definition of Web 2.0 success is the prominence factor. If you are big and in everyone’s face, you can then advertise to that audience. If you sell widgets to a million people, you make a million dollars; if you give news to 800,000 people, sell advertising to that, you now have a flow of income.
Is success the ability to convince others? … Is it the ability to make visitors make a purchase? … Is it the ability to make someone come back again and again, and sell advertising? Linear thinking does not apply to Web 2.0. Success is attributed to many factors including prominence in a niche, how users use your service and how you capitalize on that.
Any Web 2.0 leaders out there want to share your definition of success?