I researched nine Dutch (e-Business 2.0) cases, that were selected from companies listed in the Dutch Web 2.0 Awards that was held in January 2006; over 50.000 people could nominate and select Web 2.0 initiatives. Very interesting companies to have a look at:
Wakoopa is a social network site for software. People can track what kind of software they use and share it with others and find (better) applications. With Wakoopa users acquire information on what software they use and can share software and opinions. The real value that is created using this site is the sharing experience users get when they share software and (new) applications. Wakoopa has made a platform and tracker to use for this site . The technique is only one part of Wakoopa’s function. The other part is the community platform and the incentives to people to contribute on the platform. Wakoopa is not only a creator of the technology and facilitator of the platform, but also a motivator and stimulator in a way it wants people to help collaborate by sharing experiences and knowledge.
Swoot is an innovative leader in skinning and transforming web enabled applications for the desktop. Users can build their own browser and can participate in building a new website. There is a Swoot portal where all the developed browsers on many topics can be found, which can be accessed when people install a one time plug-in. Swoot offers a technology platform for, what they call, ‘ultimate freedom in design and marketing in a fun online experience.’ The idea is that everybody can create and control their own Internet browser, instead of using standard ones, like Firefox and Explorer .
Boomr is ‘a platform where artists from all genres can share their music with everyone who has access to the internet.’ Boomr is also a place where people can get to know their favourite artists music and personal matters.
Value is created for the artists on Boomr by enabling a connection to exist with potential supporters and vice versa, value is created for the listener who is able to find music they like. Boomr is free to use and focuses on the non-familiar artists, as well. The value is created by users and artists who contribute and participate on the platform. There is an artist community and a user community. The user community is based on voluntary contributions, like reporters (enthusiastic fans of an artist) that write about concerts. Boomr’s artist and user communities are growing and are of significant value to this initiative and helps create a lock-in.
Buurtlink.nl is part of the Buurtlink foundation and its goal is to increase social cohesion within the
Watvindenwijover.nl is a free service platform to easily save interesting web pages on the Internet. There are several features of the site that are new and related to Web 2.0 technologies. For example, users can make their own notes on the site while easily organizing results by tagging and can share favourite sites and topics with other users. The activities on the platform are also recognized as ‘social browsing’, which means social searching and sharing. There are several clusters of communities based on interest and Watvindenwijover.nl tries to link people actively by giving recommendations. In this manner, people can collaborate to find more or better information on certain topics. Watvindenwijover.nl is a subset of Winkwaves and is used as a marketing tool and as a playground to experiment. The actual value appropriation with these platforms is done by Winkwaves in a Business-to-Business context and relates more to Enterprise 2.0.
‘Traditional guides (in this research referred to as e-Business e.g. Goudengids.nl and iLocal.nl) do not answer questions like; where can I find a good plumber? What is the best lawyer in the district? As a user of this website, you often ask recommendations from friends and family.’ YelloYello is a company that fills this gap with help of Web 2.0 by ‘social local search’: YelloYello has local communities and is a social network and guide in one. Everyone can contribute easily by giving reviews, tagging, and upload locations. The company stimulates people to share experiences so the company can create a recommendation list of companies. The community and cluster aspect can be found in the case of YelloYello. The company focus is on places and people. Based on places and interest there are clusters of communities that contribute and add value for other users. The value is created by the users and is a combination of content and the social aspect of the website. Since the business information is already familiar, the new data contributed by the community adds new value.
‘Fleck.com wants to add a new layer of interactivity to the web by adding new tools that allows its users to add information rather than just consuming it. Fleck allows users to interact with pages on the web just as if it were pages in a magazine; People can save annotated page for own purposes, send it to friends or colleagues or use it in their blog.’
The value, appropriated on the platform by its users, is created by the users because data on top of the existing webpage is collected by a collaboration of internet users. When this data is aggregated correctly, new opportunities for value creation arise, but also appropriation may appear, for instance, more efficient search methods, recommendations, and suggestions on websites. Efficiency and complementarities are the most important drivers for Fleck. People use the platform and technology for several purposes, like bookmarking, communication, and page sharing. In the second half of 2007, Fleck will focus more on collaboration and the Long Tail by increasing the ‘discovery factor’. According to the founders of Fleck, there is a huge potential for collaboration with Fleck and it will become the most important driver. Fleck tries to enable knowledge sharing within the community. In this way people can efficiently use the information and knowledge other users contributed on websites. All these contributions on websites are collected in a database. Not only will the popular website be collected in this database, but also smaller and unfamiliar WebPages, referred to as the Long Tail, are collected. Fleck uses the collective intelligence to create value that is contributed by its users.
Hyves is one of the most used e-Business 2.0 pure players in the Netherlands and is the most popular social network (Ruigrok|NetPanel 2007). The focus for Hyves is on establishing an online platform, in which people can (re)connect with each other, as they say: ‘Always in touch with your friends’. Users can share photos, videos, blogs, and recommendations, but the most added value for users of Hyves is to get reconnected with old friends (Ruigrok|NetPanel 2007). Hyves tries to be the place on the Internet where users share his or her information. Not only can you connect with people, but you can also collaborate and share by using a weblog or gadgets. Integration is also very important to Hyves, like importing an existing weblog on your Hyves page by Web 2.0 technology (RSS), which makes it easy and efficient for users to share. In the near future, Hyves is going to increase their use of AJAX-tools to integrate more easy-to-use applications to create increased value for it’s users.
Favr is ‘a website platform on which you can save and share your favourites, like websites and articles’. Users can review and recommend favourites in order to establish a top ranking of favourites.
The company wants to create a unique social bookmarking platform, that looks like Delicious, since interest is focused on website level. The community creates value and Favr’s role is an intermediary one by which it gives incentives and tools for users to contribute. The community decides what ranking certain websites and articles get and is not influenced by the company. The founder of Favr is also the founder of web-log.nl, that was sold successfully to Ilse Media in 2004 (Wiersma 2004), who started both companies as an experiment.