A former student writes:
I need to find a simple book that sort of explains the trends of Web 2.0. Nothing too techy, but something that would talk about what makes it special, what people are doing with 2.0, and the best ways to utilize its philosophies. Basically, my company is
moving towards plenty of web work now that I’m here (I’m the only
designer who can do Flash and web design), but my bosses aren’t aware
of a lot of the new practices in modern web design. So I was hoping I could recommend a book for them to read that would help them get on track with modern web design and marketing. Does a book like this even exist?
With permission, I’ve posted the question here.
My first thought was Chris Anderson’s Long Tail, which
argues (as expressed in a Wired article first published in 2004) that the future of business will be indie and niche marketing, selling small numbers of lots of different things (think eBay and Amazon), rather than pushing huge numbers of identical products to mass audiences.
The concept of the long tail has its critics, including Guy Kawasaki’s “cynic’s checklist“, Lee Gomez, and some Slashdot threads. A typical observation: even when people have ample access to downloading niche content, the most heavily advertised, corporate-backed titles still make up the vast majority of what people want to download — even when they can download the indie content for free. (Thus, it seems that it’s the advertising that makes people want to pay for content, not the quality of the content. Of course, it may be that savvy marketers are good at spotting the few items in the slush pile that people will pay for, but either way, ready access to multiple alternatives has not made a big dent in people’s choices.)