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[ 0 ] Jul. 1, 2007 | SBO Editor

Web 2.0. You may have heard the phrase, but do you really know what it means? Web 2.0 refers to the second generation of Internet-based services & applications that online businesses use.

The second generation is providing services such as social networking sites, wikis, blogs, vlogs, folksonomics, and communication tools that emphasize online cooperation & information sharing. In my report below I will explain the 10 different ways you can start an internet business following the new web 2.0 trend!

Social Networks
WebBizIdeas’ Definition: Online Social Networks are groups or communities that are brought together by a common interest and communicate with one another online. Content sharing, photo sharing, music sharing, video sharing, movie sharing, file sharing, and anything else which allows online users to easily & securely share information with one another are common classifications of various types of social networking websites.

You may be wondering why so many online businesses are running social networking software. That’s simple – it’s because that is what the Internet was meant for – to securely share information. When users register on a social networking site, they can use their Internet Business Idea to create their own web page, blog, forum, classified ad, post live events, share videos, share music, share pictures, or countless other features you can have a web development company like WebBizIdeas build.

Social Networking Websites

Recommended Social Networking Software
PHPFOX – phpfox.com
Buddy Zone – vastal.com
WebBizNetwork – webbizideas.com

The best part about starting a social networking Internet business is it is affordable & easy! Once you have the software installed & the website designed, your Internet business will run itself. I am not saying that you will not have to do any work, but social networks promote themselves. If you build on your Internet business idea and build a network that truly helps people share information, they will naturally come.

Lets say you start a social network that allows local bands to build their own web page, upload music, and tell people where their next concerts are. Local bands will want people to view their web page. Fans will want to find information on that particular band – so naturally, they will be searching for it. As a result, every member that signs up on your website is really a walking advertising sign!

The Internet has become to be known as the Great Disconnect. Well, social networks are just what the world needs to bring everyone together, and this is proving true every single day. If I you want to implement your Internet business idea and start an online business, we recommend creating a social networking website –if you are able to create a good customer experience, you will definitely be successful.

WIKI Websites
In case you’ve been living under a rock on Mars, the Internet is very large; it seems that everyone and their brother has some sort of web page. As technology becomes more advanced, Internet business owners need to find new ways to organize this information into an easy to use format. But what is the best way to do that?
What if you could build a website where experts in all industries could freely share information not only with one another, but with anyone? That is what the developers who built www.Wikipedia.com set out to accomplish. They put their Internet business idea into action! Wikipedia.com is a large online encyclopedia that anyone can read or edit.

Wikipedia.com now is one enormous information source on any topic you could possibly think of. Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, once said, “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.”

You can download the same software Wikipedia uses for free at: http://www.mediawiki.org

Blogging Websites
Wikipedia’s Definition: Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.

Go back a couple years – blogs were all over the news being touted as the next big Internet business idea. The hype has died down a bit, but blogging websites can be a great way to start your own Internet business. They are inexpensive, easy to set up, and won’t cost you anything except the time you need to write articles.

The best part of blogging is that anyone can start one for free. Use your Internet business as a basis for your blog. You can go to www.WordPress.com and download blogging software free.

It is a wonderful way for anyone to express themselves – what’s more, your target audience will tune in to listen to what you have to say. WebBizIdeas.com has recently started our own blog, because people need to become aware of the Internet business opportunities available online. It is a great way for us to express ourselves and promote WebBizIdeas to our customers for free.

I use this example because if you are looking to start an Internet business, starting out with a blog can be one of the best ways to go. Let’s say you are the best cook in the world, and you have 10,000 healthy recipes that will revolutionize the cooking industry. You want to sell your recipe book as well as start a national cooking club that will teach people the right way to cook healthy food.

The only problem is that you may be strapped for cash; but you just know if you get something going online, people will start to listen to you. All you have to do is download WordPress for free, find someone to install the software for like $50 (by posting a quick ad on craigslist.com), and you are on your way to starting your own internet business!

Tips before you start writing:
Research your target market
Find out the competitiveness of your Internet business idea.
Research how to optimize the pages you write for the search engine.

Go to www.webbizideas.com/learn for essential tips to start your own Internet business and more free software providers.

Vlogging Websites

Wikipedia’s Definition: A videoblog, a medium combining video, web, and log, (usually shortened to vlog) is a blog that includes video.

You may have already seen a small taste of what a vlog is with youtube.com. What you may not know is that video sharing websites will continue to boom as server & bandwidth cost decrease. Companies like AOL have come out with their own version of video sharing, www.video.aol.com. They have partnered with a company called brightcove.com, which will allow you to share & sell videos online.

Although youtube.com has exploded onto the market, we know that video sharing software will evolve above & beyond simple video sharing. We also don’t think there is yet a quality video sharing software on the market that we can recommend. To read a great post on video sharing software click the link below:

Mlogging Websites
WebBizIdeas’ Definition: There is not a Wikipedia definition out there because it doesn’t exist yet. In the future, you will see Moving Sharing (Mlogs) take over the Internet as server & bandwidth costs decrease. Around 2010 – 2012, many large Telecom companies such as AT&T will have their IP Networks (replacing fiber optic cables) completed and the ability to share an entire movie online will be available.

This is a great Internet business idea. You may have not even heard of a Mlog, but we guarantee you will very soon. As technology catches up with consumer demand, you will be able to download an entire movie from Netflix.com or Blockbutser.com instead of having to rent them. It is not joke; Telecom companies are building large IP networks (think of it as a large wireless router) that will replace fiber optic cables.

Large companies, like the ones mentioned above, use this technology to allow users to download movies instead of rent them. Social networks allow their members to share full-length movies instead of just photos, music, or video clips. There are 1000’s of movie producers looking for their “big break” and movie sharing websites will accomplish this.

Internet TV
Want to know what the next myspace.com or youtube.com Internet business idea is? Movie sharing websites will have their day in the sun, but Internet TV is the next big thing! You will read stories about how some 16 year old kid started recording a TV show in his basement, broadcasting it online, and the rest is history. Think about it – what’s stopping you from starting your own TV Station online?

Telecom companies – like AT&T – are building their own networks that will allow small businesses to have the same capabilities as large TV Stations for a comparable price. In a couple years, it will be standard for users to wirelessly connect their computers to their TVs. So instead of viewing a TV show on your 19” computer screen, you will be viewing it on a 60” LCD HD TV. Apple already sells a product called Apple ITV that will stream video from your Mac, PC, or Ipod to your TV for just $299.

www.brightcove.com is a company that is already leading the way in Internet TV. They allow you to launch your own TV Network online. What you will see in the future are more ‘home made’ networks being created that anyone will be able to view on their TV just like a regular TV show. Instead of waiting for your favorite program, you can just pick and choose from millions of them.

E-Commerce Sites
Some of the earliest & largest Internet businesses are retail e-commerce websites. Much of Amazon.com’s success came from the complex (and expensive!) programming of their e-commerce software. Today, it is easy & inexpensive to hire a web design company to build & install e-commerce software into a domain name of your choice. The hardest part in building an e-commerce website is deciding on what shopping cart solution you want to use.
If you are looking to build a general online store there are many inexpensive e-commerce solutions available.
Recommended E-Commerce Software:
www.Oscommerce.com -free
www.Creloaded.com –free
www.3dcart.com – very nice
www.earlyimpact.com –advanced
www.volusion.com – very advanced/expensive
www.webbizideas.com – SEO friendly

The Future Of E-Commerce Websites
Companies are finding new ways to improve online retailing by offering Print-on-Demand services. Companies like customink.com & cafepress.com empower individuals, organizations and businesses to create, buy and sell customized merchandise online using print-on-demand and e-commerce services.

For example, if you have a cool idea or design for a t-shirt you can upload it to cafepress.com and other people can buy it. Cafépress.com will print and ship the T-shirt, and write you a check for the commission. It is a great concept that can be replicated in any industry. Writers, musicians, artists, designers, and any other specialized industry can benefit from ‘Print-On-Demand’ services.

In the future, if you write a book there will be no need to spend thousands of dollars to get it published. You’ll be able to just upload it to a Publisher’s Website. People will buy it from that Publisher’s website and will print the book, ship it, and send you a commission for each sale. If you are in a band, or even an individual artist, instead of waiting for your big break from a music studio, you could be able to just upload it to www.cornerband.com. Again, people will buy it; cornerband.com could produce the CD, ship it, and give you a cut of the profits. Your music will also be available to users (that pay!) by streaming audio/visual files. The technology to do all these things already exists; it is just a matter of time until people start realizing it.

The possibilities are endless! How cool would it be to design your own graphics for a skateboard or snowboard? People can design their own clothes, stickers, blankets, backpacks, furniture, paintings, sculptures, houses, or anything else you can imagine, quickly, easily and free online! We are moving into a time where dreams will become reality.

Content Management Systems (CMS)
Wikipedia’s Definition: A content management system, or CMS, is a computer software system used to help with content management. A CMS facilitates the organization, control, and publication of a large body of documents and other content, such as images and multimedia resources. A CMS often facilitates the collaborative creation of documents. A web content management system is a content management system with additional features to ease the tasks required to publish web content to websites.

Content Management systems are installed on existing Internet business websites. Since search engines love content, adding a CMS to your website can greatly improve your search engine rankings. If you are looking to start an Internet business, a CMS may also be the right solution for you.

Free CMS Software:

Many online businesses fail because they don’t take the time to build their business correctly. Building the best website in the world is not going to make you a millionaire if your customers can’t find it. CMS allows you to build a website with loads of content, optimize it for the search engines, and increase website traffic before you even start your business.

Let’s say you’re a pastry chef and specialize in decorating large wedding cakes. This is a very specialized trade that most people are probably unfamiliar with. You want to promote your business in your town inexpensively but you don’t know how. One of the easiest ways to do this is to teach people how to do create their own decorative wedding cakes.

When you download free CMS software and start writing, what you will find is there are many other people interested in what you do for a living. Many people will just want to learn how to do it, but others will want to hire you because they view you as an expert. Plus, after writing about decorating wedding cakes and posting it online you could become number one for decorating wedding cakes in the search engines!

Who knows what can happen? You can create a social networking website for cake lovers and add a video sharing section on how to create extravagant wedding cakes. You can even start an Internet TV network all about the pastry industry.
Become Aware
This leads us to our last point. The Internet is presents a large opportunity for connecting information & people. It allows anyone in the world to become more aware of anything they are interested in. It is human nature for people to search for information – the Internet gives people the opportunity to easily share information.

Your Own Idea
Write down your passions & hobbies in life and come up with a way to create a business around them. When you do what you love, you will never need to search for an ‘Internet business idea’ – you will already know what to do!

Jeff Foster, left, and Dan Fernandez are the two owners ofwebbizideas.com.

Category: Magazine, Small Business Opportunities, Small Business Opportunities July 2007