Category Archives: Work With The Web

My secret life as a beta tester.

Sometimes it feels like I’ve done everything at least once.  Just not in the right order and not on the same project.

I’ve loved watching how web technology has progressed.  Since the middle of the 1990’s when I first dipped my toe in to the internet I’ve been called a web site designer, I’ve set up servers and nameservers, hosted sites, controlled networks and had to dabble with data transit.  I’ve built sites, improved sites, promoted and marketed sites, monitored, analysed, tweaked and generally been through the whole process of web commerce through the supply chain.

I’ve even tried to lean to write succulent copy, video editing for promotion and laughed lots of times at the pitch promises of so called push button solutions. It has to be said though that I’m happiest when I’m doing my initial business intelligence research or beta testing the software that makes it all work. You’ve been at the bleeding edge too right?

On my next post grab yourself a coffee, it’s not often I post but now I’m ready to add something new to the web – You see on re-reading I had a dilemma – was I saying too much in one post?
I wanted to talk about something but by not explaining the general background of where some knowledge and reasoning comes from the importance of what I’m beta testing may be overlooked by those who could benefit most from it.  Small businesses that want to compete and prosper online.  In any marketplace, at any level, with almost any budget.*

So before finishing that post off I went and made myself a coffee just so I could be sure it didn’t take longer to read than it takes to have a drink during a well deserved break and be worth the read.  Basically I had this thought that I had to give you an idea of the history (as I experienced it) that has helped you to find and read this sentence because it will then help you make a lot more sense of the step change in machine readable data technology that is beginning to impact commerce efficiency and effectiveness (Your business and the way you live.) I’m going to make a few tweaks because you can either be flattened by this change or get it right first time. In Web development cycles something that has been called the web of linked data or semantic web started rolling forward and building momentum.

Linking Open Data dataset cloud as of July 14t...

Image via Wikipedia

What we’ve got web-wize currently, in the form of commerce and social networks really took off and started running on Web2 type technologies and architecture.  They will continue to do so for a while yet. They will continue to flourish as the mesh between the semantic or web 3.0 technologies (basically best described by A man called Nova Spivack in 2008 as 10 year cycles – there will be a cycle after 3) which importantly have at their core security and verification of facts. A simple way to consider things is ‘If it isn’t a fact it doesn’t exist but it could be proven’. When you take that to the next step you realise you have to exist, your business has to exist but how does the Web verify it?

In “Making Better Sense Of The Semantic Web”   I wrote

“Once data can be read and is understood by the new web, the way you control your research, advertising, marketing, search and business in general will never be the same.  Used in the right way and in the correct context we can genuinely expect more effectiveness, better efficiency and see benefits all round.”

The third cycle.

The third investment cycle has now had momentum for a few years and the uplift of data for filtering is not stopping anytime soon.  The coming wave of developments using structured data technology herald the rise of new ways of finding what you want.   The Web is there for you to use.  Why would you use a search engine to get help when you can ask the web to solve your specific problem?

So … what I’m really saying is there is another web out there that already knows things and can think for itself.  The Web can only help you if you work with it. What do you think the Web knows about you already?  Better still how does it think it can help you?

It won’t hurt to wait another day to find out a bit more so I guess it’s time for another coffee me thinks.

In the mean time if you want to know why the phrase ‘dave likes cookies’ helped social networks take off or how hashtags came into being or what links are meant to be and how it’s going to help you (even if you don’t fully understand it) do go watch the video I posted in September 2008.  Don’t let the title put you off!  It’s a nine min video that reminds you about 3rd grade English language.  You’ll get the point though within five mins 🙂

BTW this next bit relates to the (*) when I said above I can help small businesses that want to compete and prosper online.  In any marketplace, at any level, with almost any budget.* which you’d probably forgotten about.

* If you are a one man/woman band or very small business you should be prepared to inject/invest a minimum of £10K for other project costs (on top of having to learn how to use it) and then if you have your facts and figures right you should be able to double that investment in at most a year, probably within six months.  You should begin to see measured improvements from month two.  While it is possible for one person to do everything that needs to be done (research, graphics, design, build, copy, marketing, promotion, sales, tracking, delivery, analysis, feedback etc.) the time saving element of employing others to handle routine or specialist aspects can not be over looked and this technology can hook into it all.  It’s also fair to say that currently the more funding you inject in to defining your structured web presence and profile from the outset using this technology will mean the returns will compounded as you build on your original growth.

I ‘ll be back tomorrow with a cuppa coffee version of the history of how.

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