REVIEW: "Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide", Amy Shuen
- BKWB20SG.RVW 20081005
"Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide", Amy Shuen, 2008, 978-0-596-52996-3,
%A Amy Shuen
%C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
%I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
%O U$24.99/C$24.99 800-998-9938 707-829-0515 nuts@...
%O Audience i- Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 243 p.
%T "Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide"
In the foreword, Tim O'Reilly notes that Web 2.0 is about users
collectively building applications by using them. In the preface, the
author, Amy Shuen, says that Web 2.0 is a great many things, and that
this book will tell you about making money from it, whatever it is.
This is not a promising beginning.
Chapter one is supposed to point out that users create value. There
are some initial examples of user activity from flickr, but the first
two proposed illustrations of how to use this activity in business (to
analyze business models and assess stock market value) are completely
unsupported by the material that has been presented. The text then
goes on to give more specific details of business building, but what
is being presented to the reader are merely fundamental business tools
(such as cash flow analysis) to which Web 2.0 makes no apparent
contribution. "Networks Multiply Effects," we are told in chapter
two, but what kind of networks are we talking about? Any online
connection? The Internet itself? There is no examination of the
concept of networks, and all we see are some stories about service
industries. People like social activities, and like social networking
tools, we find out in chapter three. Chapter four presents random
instances of the operations of online businesses. Finally, in chapter
five, we get some archetypes of how to use social networking tools in
a traditional business: this, along with the brief section on mashups
in chapter four, is probably the most useful part of the book.
(However, it may not be easy to figure out how to actually use the Web
2.0 tools in new, interesting, or profitable ways.) Chapter six
purports to tie all the prior material into a "how to" plan, in five
easy steps. Basically this is standard business analysis. There is
one additional point, which boils down to "pay attention to people."
This is a radically new idea, undiscovered except for "Theory X and
Theory Y" from the sixties, "In Search of Excellence" from the
eighties, and Jeffrey Pfeffer's "The Human Equation" (cf.
BKHUMEQU.RVW) from about a decade ago.
Not terribly helpful. And hardly a strategy.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKWB20SG.RVW 20081005
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Take my advice. I'm not using it.