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The Rise of the Recommendation Web

By Nathan Moore
August 16, 2011

The web is an organism. It is constantly evolving. It is constantly morphing and changing its shape. It is continually adapting to current trends, new information, and progressive innovation.

In it’s infantry, it was the static web. Then, it became the dynamic web and we began to interact. About ten years ago, it morphed again - this time into the social web. In this era, we have seen the rise and fall of sites like Friendster and MySpace, we have seen services like Facebook and Twitter grow from experiments into online empires. And, we started to see the first glimpses of the recommendation web with sites like Digg and Reddit.

We are now fully entering into the era of the recommendation web - where virtually everything can be viewed, consumed, or purchased can also have a recommendation attached. This begins to shift how we find new information, how we search on the web, and how our decisions are influenced - decisions that we previously were forced to make alone.

So, where does this take us? Facebook and Google each have launched their own “recommendation networks.” Facebook has the now-iconic “Like” button, and Google recently launched +1.These giants will begin to take a stronghold onto the recommendation web.

Facebook will utilize it to connect people further and increase revenue by serving up increasingly targeted ads. Google will utilize it to organize and catalog information on the web and respond to requests accordingly. Both will leverage our existing social networks and what those people recommend to gain insight into our potential likes, dislikes, and behavior.

With the recommendation web, search engine optimization (SEO) as we know it today will be flipped on its head. It will become more important for companies and products to receive recommendations online than it will be to write strategic copy containing certain buzzwords. Search results will be heavily influenced by our social recommendations, and thus, will be catered to fit each individual.

It makes sense that this is the next logical step in the evolution of the web. Companies and organizations should recognize this early and adapt accordingly so they are not left behind in the new era of the web.


Twitter Observation: Local News Stations - WKRN vs. WSMV

By Nathan Moore
October 29, 2008

I am seeing more and more media outlets jump on the Twitter bandwagon in an attempt to utilize the latest web trend. However, while many see the obvious opportunity, few actually use it effectively.

Two local news stations here in Nashville are on Twitter: WSMV (an NBC affiliate) and WKRN (an ABC affiliate). Even though both stations utilize Twitter, the differentiation between the two is huge.

Station 01: WSMV

This station has 5,770 tweets at the time of this post. However, despite the high frequency, EVERY SINGLE tweet is a link back to an article on their website. No replies. No personality. No face to this station. WSMV is using Twitter for the sole purpose of pushing people to their website. Lame.

This strategy misses the sweet spot of Twitter: to participate in the conversation. For WSMV, it is merely a one-way conversation with self-centered objectives.

Station 02: WKRN

WKRN, on the other hand, gets what Twitter is all about. Despite less activity on the account (only 26 updates), each tweet is engaging the users. In addition, they have experimented with using reply tweets in their nightly broadcasts - brilliant.

Instead of taking advantage of Twitter like their counterpart, they are utilizing it to connect to the audience. They are joining in the conversation and engaging users, which is what social media is all about.

Additionally, they actively follow 90 other Twitter users (compared to the 0 users that WSMV follows).

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the most recent tweet from WKRN was over three weeks ago. I hope they have not dismissed Twitter as a viable communication outlet. If they stick with it, they will find it to be rewarding to their station and their audience. Come on, WKRN - keep it up.

Follow WSMV on Twitter
Follow WKRN on Twitter

Any readers see other news organizations that utilize Twitter effectively?