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3.17  Web 2.0 Business Models

The technologies and collaborative nature of Web 2.0 have opened up new business models. Some of these would not have been feasible even ten years ago, but because of Moore’s Law they are not only possible but thriving. At the moment, there is no foreseeable end to the advancements attributed to Moore’s Law, so fantastic ideas that are impossible today may become possible within just a few years.Figure 3.6 outlines many popular Internet business models and lists some companies that use each one. In just about every case, there are many more companies using that business model.

Fig. 3.6 | Web 2.0 business models.

Web 2.0 business models

advertising exchange—An online marketplace where web publishers can sell their advertising inventory (ad space) to advertisers. Companies include DoubleClick Advertising Exchange and Right Media Exchange.

affiliate network—A business that connects web publishers with cost-per-action affiliate programs, which are a form of cost-per-action advertising. Companies include Commission Junction and LinkShare. (See Fig. 3.5 for more information on affiliate programs.)

blog—A website with a series of posts in reverse chronological order. Many blogs attract significant traffic and monetize with advertising and affiliate programs. Popular blogs include BoingBoing, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, John Battelle’sSearchblog, Problogger and Scobleizer.

blog search engine—A search engine devoted to the blogosphere. Companies include Technorati, Feedster, IceRocket and Google Blog Search.

blog network—A collection of blogs with multiple editors. Popular blog networks include Corante, 9rules, Gawker Media and Weblogs, Inc.

buying and selling domain names—A company purchases domain names with the intent of selling them in the future as Internet real estate becomes more valuable. Companies include and GreatDomains.

competitive intelligence—A company that analyzes Internet usage for use by client websites. Companies include Hitwise and Compete, Inc.

content networkA site (or collection of sites) that provides content including articles, wikis, blogs and more. Companies include, Deitel, LifeTips and Suite101.

discovery—A site that introduces users to valuable content they would not have looked for otherwise. Sites include StumbleUpon, Aggregate Knowledge, MOG and Deitel.

domain registrar—A site that sells domain names. Companies include, GoDaddy and Network Solutions.

encyclopedia and reference source—An online reference encyclopedia, dictionary, thesaurus, etc. Sites includeWikipedia, and Citizendium.

feed aggregator—An application that combines RSS or Atom feeds so the user can view all subscriptions in a single location. Applications include NetNewsWire, Google Reader and Bloglines.

file sharing—An application where users can share files, music, software and more. Companies include BitTorrent, LimeWire, Kazaa, AllPeers and Shareaza.

infrastructure for distributing open source projects—A site that hosts collaborative open source software projects. Sites include SourceForge, and Tucows.

Internet and web conference organizer—Acompany that organizes conferences on Internet and web topics. Companies include O’Reilly Media, CMP and Jupiter.

Internet radio—A site that distributes music and radio shows over the Internet. Companies include and Pandora.

Internet TV—A site that distributes television shows (or allows you to distribute your own shows) over the Internet. Companies include Joost and Brightcove.

Internet video—A video sharing site where users upload and share content. Companies include YouTube and Yahoo! Video.

job boards and job search—A site that connects job seekers with employers and/or job search engines. Job boards includeMonster, CareerBuilder and Dice. Job search engines includeIndeed, Jobster and SimplyHired.

mashup—A combination of two or more existing web services and feeds to create a new application. For example, combines real estate listings from Craigslist with Google Maps so you can view the listings on a map. For a list of popular mashups, see

massively multiplayer online game—An online role playing or strategy game where Internet users interact with one another. Games include World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and Lineage.

mobile social networking—A social network oriented towards mobile devices (such as cell phones). Companies include Twitter, Dodgeball and MocoSpace.

music distribution site—An online music site where you can purchase electronic versions (e.g., .mp3) of single songs or entire albums. Companies include iTunes, Rhapsody and Amie Street.

online advertising—An online advertising company that offers contextual advertising, banner advertising, in-text contextual advertising and more. Companies include Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, DoubleClick, Vibrant Media, Tribal Fusion, Kontera, Quigo, ValueClick, Federated Media and many more.

online auction—A marketplace where visitors bid for products (and services) over the Internet. Companies include eBay, and Amazon Auctions.

online classifieds—A classifieds “advertising” site where users can post jobs, real-estate listings, personal ads, etc. Companies include Craigslist, Yahoo! Classifieds and Google Base.

online survey site—Asite that offers survey services to other companies. A popular example is Survey Monkey.

open source—Software that is available (under license) for anyone to use and modify with few or no restrictions. Many Web 2.0 companies use open source software to power their sites and offer open source products and content. Companies include the Free Software Foundation, Apache, Mozilla, Zend and many more.

outsourcing marketplaces—An online marketplace where contractors and freelancers can connect with potential clients for short-term work. Companies include Elance and

payments—A site that handles secure payments for e-commerce sites. Companies includePayPal and Google Checkout.

people-assisted search—A search engine or search-driven content site that is filtered and organized by people to provide users with more relevant search results. Companies include Mahalo and Deitel.

personalized start page—A site that allows you to customize a start page with weather, news, etc. Companies include Netvibes, iGoogle, Pageflakes and Protopage.

photo sharing site—A site where users can post and share their photos with other users. Companies include Flickr and Photobucket.

real estate—A site that offers online real estate listings and information. Companies include Redfin, Trulia and Zillow.

recommender system—A system that collects data using collaborative filtering systems to determine users’ tastes and interests. Sites can gather information about your personal interests, compare you to other users with similar interests and make recommendations. Popular examples of sites using recommender systems include Pandora, Netflix, CleverSet, ChoiceStream, MyStrands, StumbleUpon,, and MovieLens.

reputation system—A system used by businesses like eBay and Amazon to encourage trust. For example, after each eBay transaction, the buyer and the seller can each leave positive or negative comments about the other party.

search engine—The primary tool people use to find information on the web. Companies include Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Ask and many more.

selling digital contentAn e-commerce site that sells digital media (e.g., e-books). Companies include ClickBank, Blish, Lulu and more.

social bookmarking site—A site that allows users to share their bookmarks with others. Users bookmark their favorites sites, articles, blogs and more, and tag them by keyword. Companies include, Ma.gnolia and Blue Dot.

social media site—A site that allows digital media (text, photos, videos, music, etc.) to be shared online. Companies includeDigg, YouTube, Flickr, Reddit, Wikipedia and more.

social networking site—A site that helps users organize their existing relationships and establish new ones. Companies include MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, LinkedIn, Second Life, Gaia Online and more.

Software as a Service (SaaS)—Software that runs on a web server rather than being installed on a local client computer. By modifying the version of the software on the server, a company can simultaneously update all users to the latest version. SaaS applications include, Microsoft Office Live, Microsoft Windows Live, Zoho Office Suite and many Google and 37Signals products.

subscription site—A site that offers member-only areas and premium content (additional content for a fee). Examples include Safari Books Online andthe Wall Street Journal.

travel site—An online travel resource site that allows you to find and book hotels, air travel, rental cars and more. Companies include Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz.

vertical search engine—A search engine that allows you to focus your search on a narrow topic. For example, travel search engines includeYahoo! Fare Finder, SideStep and Kayak; source-code search engines include Krugle and Koders.

virtual world—A social networking site (or program) where users create an avatar (their online image and persona) that they use to meet other users with similar interests, conduct business, participate in group activities, take classes and more. Companies include Second Life, Habbo, Gaia Online and There.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) site—A site that offers inexpensive or free telephone services over the Internet. Companies include Skype, Packet8, Lingo and Vonage.

Web 2.0 softwareSoftware designed to build Web 2.0 sites and applications (e.g., blogging software). Companies include Six Apart, 37Signals, Adobe and Microsoft.

web analytics—Software (desktop and SaaS) and companies that analyze Internet traffic, demographics, navigation and more. Companies include Alexa, WebTrends, ClickTracks, Google Analytics and WebSideStory.

web and mobile messaging—A service that allows you to chat with your contacts from various Internet messaging services (AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, Google Talk). Companies include Meebo and eBuddy.

web conferencing—An application that enables users to collaborate remotely. This often includes chat, VoIP and desktop sharing. Companies include WebEx, GoToMeeting and DimDim (open source).

webmail—A web-based e-mail system that allows you to send and receive e-mail using a standard browser. Popular webmail services include Google gmail, .Mac, Yahoo! Mail and MSN Hotmail.

wiki—A site that offers collaborative, editable documents online. Companies include Wikipedia, Wikia and SocialText.

Update :: January 22, 2020