BtoB Article on New Web Tools

BToB Online published an article today (Nov. 13, 2006) by Richard Karpinski called, “What exactly is Web 2.0?” The articles’ aim is to educate business on the bevy of “rich” web apps and maturing technology paradigms available to enhance user experience and create efficiencies for business.

Starting with an overview, Karpinski sets the landscape by saying,

For starters, Web 2.0 is clearly about a more interactive Web that looks and feels more like an application than a static Web page or Web site. At the heart of this is the concept of AJAX, or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML-a combination of long-standing Web technologies that, when joined, yields something different than a series of point-and-click Web pages. The classic example is Google Maps, where users can manipulate graphical maps in real time, zooming in and out and pinging the app for landmarks, directions and more.

The article talks to a number industry of sources including Jason Billingsley here at Elastic Path who says:

“The technology is not new, it’s just been recently re-named,” said Jason Billingsley, VP-marketing at e-commerce vendor Elastic Path. “Once people acquire the skills to do it, they can roll out applications that are much richer experiences for users.”

In discussing the Elastic Path One Page checkout tool, Karpinski writes,

In November, Elastic Path introduced a new component of its e-commerce application that uses AJAX to let users go through an entire shopping cart check-out experience on a single interactive screen. The application does real-time ZIP code look-ups, allows users to edit their shopping carts, validates form errors and tallies final prices, shipping costs and taxes-all without a trip back to the server.

To which Jason adds,

“It really eliminates the wait-and-see process at check-out,” Billingsley said. “It has the potential to reduce shopping cart abandonment rather significantly.”

The article continues with discussion about user experience, community building and user involvement, remix culture, vulnerabilities and risks. He wraps up with an example of “web 2.0″ tools in a business to business context citing an example of a major car manufacturer introducing a blog component to interact with dealers.


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