Web 2.0 and Affiliate Marketing

The recent discussion between Sam Harrelson and Wayne Porter about Web 2.0 and Affiliate marketing is interesting reading material and I agree and disagree with both of them.

Let’s take a step back and look at the original definition of Web 2.0 by O’Reilly who coined the term and registered it as trademark. It states:

“Like many important concepts, Web 2.0 doesn’t have a hard boundary, but rather, a gravitational core. You can visualize Web 2.0 as a set of principles and practices that tie together a veritable solar system of sites that demonstrate some or all of those principles, at a varying distance from that core.”

As core does the article specify the following elements and attributes:

Strategic Positioning
– The web as platform

User Positioning
– You control your own data

Core competencies
– Services, not packaged software
– Architecture of participation
– Cost-effective scalability
– Remixable data source and data transformations
– Software above the level of a single device
– Harnessing collective intelligence

Examples for Web 2.0 are various companies and services. The article explains for each of them what makes them Web 2.0 and what distinguish them from their Web 1.0 counter parts.

Google AdSense and Yahoo! Publisher Network

“The Web 2.0 lesson: leverage customer-self service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head.”

Amazon.com (which made the transition from Web 1.0 to 2.0 unlike it’s old competitors like Barnes & Noble)

“Amazon sells the same products as competitors such as Barnesandnoble.com, and they receive the same product descriptions, cover images, and editorial content from their vendors. But Amazon has made a science of user engagement. They have an order of magnitude more user reviews, invitations to participate in varied ways on virtually every page–and even more importantly, they use user activity to produce better search results.

While a Barnesandnoble.com search is likely to lead with the company’s own products, or sponsored results, Amazon always leads with “most popular”, a real-time computation based not only on sales but other factors that Amazon insiders call the “flow” around products. With an order of magnitude more user participation, it’s no surprise that Amazon’s sales also outpace competitors. “

Yes Sam, even Google Search, it’s core service, is Web 2.0 and by the Article compared to the old Netscape Portal.

“Google, by contrast, began its life as a native web application, never sold or packaged, but delivered as a service, with customers paying, directly or indirectly, for the use of that service. None of the trappings of the old software industry are present.”


“Google’s breakthrough in search, which quickly made it the undisputed search market leader, was PageRank, a method of using the link structure of the web rather than just the characteristics of documents to provide better search results.”

Blogging is also Web 2.0 and part of it is RSS. RSS was born in 1997 and you can consider it a child of the Web 1.0 generation, but RSS alone does not make blogging Web 2.0. It’s the easy to use Content management system, Permalinks, Trackbacks and Comments in combination with the distribution via RSS that allowed the easy interaction and the spark of Discussion across sites like this one, creating a network and inter connected community.

“If an essential part of Web 2.0 is harnessing collective intelligence, turning the web into a kind of global brain, the blogosphere is the equivalent of constant mental chatter in the forebrain, the voice we hear in all of our heads. It may not reflect the deep structure of the brain, which is often unconscious, but is instead the equivalent of conscious thought.”

Folksonomy and Tagging

“Sites like del.icio.us and Flickr, two companies that have received a great deal of attention of late, have pioneered a concept that some people call “folksonomy” (in contrast to taxonomy), a style of collaborative categorization of sites using freely chosen keywords, often referred to as tags. Tagging allows for the kind of multiple, overlapping associations that the brain itself uses, rather than rigid categories. In the canonical example, a Flickr photo of a puppy might be tagged both “puppy” and “cute”–allowing for retrieval along natural axes generated user activity. “

The radical experiment Wikipedia which is applying Eric Raymond’s dictum “with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow,” to content creation.

Web 2.0 is also the “End of the Software Release Cycle”. A product or better a service is developed in the open (beta). Users are integrated into the development process and provide immediate feedback

It’s about the support of lightweight programming models that allow for loosely coupled systems, Design for “hackability” and remixability that make the barriers to re-use features and even content extremely low.

RSS, Web Services, SOAP, REST and AJAX are the basis for this. All of those models and methods are by itself old stuff. Web Services are around as long as RSS, but was originally intended for the use by large corporations to connect their businesses and not people. AJAX or remote scripting is even older than RSS or Web Services.

The easy to use interfaces created by using AJAX are the important part of the story. All the technologies are around for a long time, but what makes them Web 2.0 are their applications which include another important aspect of Web 2.0; cross platform support or the independence from specific Hardware and Software Platforms, be it PC, MAC, Tivo, Phone, Windows, Linux, MacOS or PalmOS.

How does Affiliate marketing can play a part of all this?

It does already, because we the people, the affiliate marketers, are already participants in this world of interaction and personalization or so called Web 2.0.

The affiliate business starts by simply using an affiliate link instead of a direct link without creating links you would not have created if you only had a direct link and no affiliate link and chance for monetization.

About Carsten Cumbrowski

Internet Marketer, Entrepreneur and Blogger. To learn more about me and what I am doing, visit my website and check out the “about” section.

Twitter: ccumbrowski

2 Responses to Web 2.0 and Affiliate Marketing

  1. OICUAM2 says:

    I needed a secondary part of web 2.0 and that was hosted applications. I don't hve the technical abilities to create a web 2.0 site, but now I have user generated content sites because I now can plug my domains into hosted applications.

  2. Yep, that's right. The use of services that are simple but enable the user is Web 2.0.

    This is saying it, but in a more complicated way 🙂

    "It's about the support of lightweight programming models that allow for loosely coupled systems, Design for "hackability" and remixability that make the barriers to re-use features and even content extremely low."