Web 2.0 features on South African business websites: missing a business opportunity?

Francke, E. & Weideman, M.

Proceedings of The 10th annual Conference on WWW Applications. 3-5 September. Cape Town, South Africa.

Francke, E. & Weideman, M. 2008. Web 2.0 features on South African business websites: missing a business opportunity? Proceedings of The 10th annual Conference on WWW Applications. 3-5 September. Cape Town, South Africa. Online: http://web-visibility.co.za/website-visibility-digital-library-seo/

ABSTRACT
The purpose of the study was to indicate to South African business that by including Web 2.0 features on their sites, they could benefit from the business potential that Web 2.0 offers. In this research project, an empirical study has been done to determine the extent to which South African business websites have Web 2.0 features. A literature survey has revealed that the World Wide Web has evolved from Web 1.0 which is essentially a passive-user state, to Web 2.0 that is an interactive user experience. This has encouraged a phenomenon known as Digital Social Networking (DSN) where like-minded users share amongst others, information, pictures and movies. This has given rise to the popularity of several DSN sites like Facebook, MXit and Myspace. While much of this DSN has been used for recreational purposes, various international businesses have adapted their conventional websites into interactive DSN websites. These businesses have also indicated some business benefits that they have derived from their transformation to Web 2.0 features. The research methodology included a survey of relevant literature and an empirical study of South African business websites. The sample consisted of the top 100 South African businesses based on their turnover and status in their respective sectors. The results of the survey indicated that 91 of the top 100 companies had websites. Of these 91 companies, only 5.5% had at least one Web 2.0 feature on their website. This survey proves that despite the apparent benefits which can be derived from Web 2.0 applications, South African businesses have been tardy in adopting these technologies. As a conclusion, the study has shown that South African businesses lag behind their international counterparts in transforming their conventional websites into interactive DSN websites. Furthermore, the research has also indicated that as a result of their delay in adapting their websites, South African business has not benefited from the business potential which Web 2.0 offers.
REFERENCES
  1. Anderson, T. 2007. A world of widgets, wikis and mashups. Available WWW: www.pcw.co.uk (accessed 26 February 2008).
  2. Anon. 2008a. Directtrafficmedia.co.uk. Available WWW: http://corporateblog.directtrafficmedia.co.uk/ (accessed 26 February 2008).
  3. Anon. 2008b. Reunion.com. Available WWW: http://www.reunion.com/ (accessed 11 April 2008).
  4. Anon. 2008c. Social networking websites review. Available WWW: http://social-networking-websites-review.toptenreviews.com/myspace- review.html (accessed 10 April 2008).
  5. Anon. 2008d. Top300.co.za. Entry Criteria. Available WWW: http://www.top300.co.za/entry_criteria.asp (accessed 23 January2008).
  6. Anon. 2008e. Verticalresponse.com. Building Business Value Through Blogs. AvailableWWW: http://www.verticalresponse.com/education-support/articles- reports/building-business-value-through-blogs/ (accessed 26 February 2008).
  7. Anon. 2008f. Oxford University Press. http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/findword?query_type=word&queryword=podcast. (accessed 18 April 2008).
  8. Anon. 2006. Fastcompany.com. Social Networking: A Status Report. Available WWW: http://blog.fastcompany.com/archives/2006/08/15/social_networking_a_status _report.html (accessed 10 November 2007).
  9. Boulos, M., Maramba, I & Wheeler S. 2006. Wikis, blogs and podcasts: a new generation of Web-based tools for virtual collaborative clinical practice and education. BMC Medical Education Journal, 6(41). Available WWW: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6920/6/41 (accessed 11 April 2008).
  10. Francke, E & Weideman, M. 2007. South African youth and mobile technology impact: The MXit phenomenon. In: Proceedings of the 9th Annual Conference on World Wide Web Applications, 2007. Johannesburg, South Africa. Available WWW: www.zaw3.co.za. (accessed 12 May 2008).
  11. Giustini, D. 2006. How Web 2.0 is changing medicine. BMC Medical Education Journal, 6(41). Available WWW: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/reprint/333/7582/1283 (accessed 11 April 2008).
  12. MacManus, R & Porter, J. 2005 Web 2.0 Design: Bootstrapping the Social Web. Available WWW: http://www.digital- web.com/articles/web_2_for_designers (accessed 18 April 2008).
  13. McGee, M. 2008. A Small Business Marketing Success Story: John Tuggle, Guitar Teacher. Available WWW: http://searchengineland.com/080410- 110525.php. (accessed 18 April 2008).
  14. Murphy, M. 2007. The Power of Social Media for Brands. In proceedings of the 10th Annual Digital Marketing Conference. Canada, 2007
  15. Musser, J & O'Reilly, T. 2006. Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices. Available WWW: http://www.oreilly.com/radar/web2report.csp (accessed 8 December 2007).
  16. O'Murchu, I., Breslin, J & Decker, S. 2004. Online Social and Business Networking Communities In: Proceedings of the ECAI 2004 Workshop on Application of Semantic Web Technologies to Web Communities, August 23- 27, 2004. Valencia, Spain.
  17. O'Reilly, T. 2006. Web 2.0 Compact Definition: Trying Again. Available WWW: http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2006/12/web_20_compact.html (accessed 10 November 2007).
  18. Post, K. 2007. The Social Networking Guide for Newbies. Available WWW: http://www.employmentdigest.net/2007/11/the-newbies-guide-to-social- networking/ (accessed 13 January 2008).
  19. Tapscott, D & Williams, A. 2006 Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. Penguin Publishers: London.
  20. Weideman, M. 2004. Empirical evaluation of one of the relationships between the user, search engines, metadata and Web sites in three-letter .com Web sites. South African Journal of Information Management: 6(3). September. Available WWW: http://www.sajim.co.za/index.php/SAJIM/issue/view/32
  21. Yukihiro, K. 2007. In-house Use of Web 2.0: Enterprise 2.0. NEC Technical Journal, 2: 46-49, June.
Full text of Conference Proceedings No 0106: Web 2.0 features on South African business websites: missing a business opportunity?

Digital Library with full-text of academic publications on website visibility, usability, search engines, information retrieval

Back to Home page