Friday, May 02, 2008

Web 2.0 status report. We’ve got some catching up to do.

First there was the Internet; then something called Web 2.0 came along. The Internet was basically a collection of web sites. You clicked, you went and you viewed. Web 2.0 is the next generation and provides a full-fledged computing platform that includes blogs, wiki’s, online video, widgets and any number of ways to express yourself.

Some of the newer tutorials we offer are reflective of this new format. Lessons like Learn Online Investing, Learn Online Travel and Learn How to Buy and Sell on eBay® are very popular with our customers.

Web 2.0 is also proving to be an extremely effective political-campaign tool. Campaigns can generate huge amounts of cash through the Internet, political blogs are everywhere and anyone with a computer can sound off for or against the candidates. Bloggers have joined traditional campaigns as pundits where their opinions are valued.

That said, I was a bit surprised to read an article titled "U.S. Lags in Social Media Creation, per Survey" in Adweek® magazine that says we are lagging behind computer users in Asia and South America. While Americans tend to share videos and read blogs, people in these countries tend to be far more active in creating content.

This quote from that article really sums it all up:

"By and large, in the U.S. we're a country of voyeurs", said David Cohen, U.S. director of digital communications at Interpublic Group's Universal McCann, which conducted the study. "We love to watch and consume content created by others, but there's a fairly small group that are doing that creation -- unlike China, which is a country of creators."

According to Adweek, 26 percent of Americans have their own blogs, compared to 70 percent of people in South Korea and China.

Interpublic Group's Universal McCann® advertising agency conducted the survey of 17,000 Internet users over 18 months. Europeans join us as laggards.

In a way, I’m not surprised. Japan has had HDTV for decades, while here in the U.S. it’s only just beginning to come into its own.

Are we simply cautious or are we technophobes? Personally, I think it’s a bit of both. While we launch more and more tutorials that help you maximize the benefits of Web 2.0, so many customers still come to us for the basics.

I encourage you to get out there and create. Picture sharing sites like, video sites like and even new sites like allow you the chance to express yourself or connect to the world like never before. Join a site called and you’ll be hearing from old friends you haven’t seen in years.

Such expression used to be limited solely to broadcasters and publishers. The great thing about Web 2.0 is it empowers all of us to express our thoughts and opinions, share pictures of the grandkids or catch up with long-lost friends.

So use it, enjoy it and let’s catch up with the rest of the world by creating.

John W. Scherer, CEO & founder, Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach me at