Web 2.0 is not the future but the here and now

Trip Start Sep 23, 2007
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Trip End Sep 28, 2007


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Flag of Netherlands Antilles  ,
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I recently had an evaluation meeting with my supervisor and he made it clear that Web 2.0 and B2B and B2C thinking make me ahead of my time and that I should use layman terms.

While that might have been true within the four walls of my office back in Barbados, here in St. Maarten in this Tourism Internet Conference it is clear that I am right on time with what is happening globally!

Without boring those who care nothing about the nuances of Internet marketing or giving you the run down about how Microsoft is trying to buy one of the most popular Web 2.0 platforms (i.e. Facebook), I'll say this much:

(for those who only want to read about my off-conference activity scroll down to the section OFF COURSE ACTIVITY)

Web 2.0 belongs to you and me.  It is turning the web into two-way communication friendly and making it easier for us to say how we feel, good or bad, about any business, service or product and share it with millions of online users.

What does this mean?  It means that while DrSpot.com might want to filter the negative comments about his medicines on his website.  It is not possible to silence dissenters, pundits or detractors by just blocking them off of our domain because they will band together and do it on their own website anyway.  A classic example is www.barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com.

What can businesses do in cases like these?  Recognize that all positive comments on your site about your product, service or business raises a red flag in the mind of the discerning consumer - nothing is that perfect!

Do field negative comments by conveying to that customer that you understand their issue, that you have put x, y and z in place to rectify it and finally depending on how damaging it is, I agree you might want to leave it off.  However leaving them all off is a recipe for disaster, hence the birth of super cool websites like www.barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com - a group of un-silenceable Barbados-lovers, who have found their voice on the indomitable World Wide Web.

So who is engaging in Web 2.0 - the Digg.coms, the Reddit.com, the PRWeb.coms, the Facebook.coms, the Ning.coms???  In marketing we call them the influencers, perhaps in "layman" terms they are better known as the affluent who are the first to invest and interact with new devices.

As far as I can see they are the same characters our tourism marketing tries to woo to visit barbados or visitbarbados.org.   This means that our marketing committees need to be on the ball with this new trend or get left behind as countries like Dubai jump right into to these seemingly unknown waters and do the butterfly and the backstroke with our former customers in swimming pools shaped like the Firefox icon lol.

I am blessed to be at this conference and I can't wait to walk through the many open doors it continues to present.

OFF COURSE ACTIVITY

I've met some really interesting people during my trip - Annette from St. Vincent has a suitcase full of shoes lol.  Paolo was born in South Africa, spent six years in Texas and now lives on the outskirts of Washington D.C.  (I'd love to see his passport!)  Abdullah has made it clear he is the kind of man your mother warned you about lol and Edward is loaded with punchlines and sarcasm to keep the party alive.

On another note I confess I am guilty of wasting water but it takes so long to get warm and my husband can tell you there is noting I abhor more than a cold shower.

And my final entry on my manic Monday in St. Maarten is this "the last price".  What does this mean?  Well according to the natives (well, Errol the waiter from St. Kitts) it's the password to start bargaining process with a store owner/ clerk on the price of an item.

Go shopaholic go!
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