Data is the next “intel inside”

Posted: March 20, 2012 in INB347 Web 2.0
Tags: , , , ,

Data and data structure is one of the most important aspects of web 2.0 but how to control it but let it grow freely? Who owns it and who decides what to do with it? Data is the next topic of patterns discussed in relation to web 2.0.  Data in web 2.0 is a key aspect in an internet platform’s success and has many benefits as well as draw backs and controversy seen in privacy issues.  Here will be a look inside on what data is inside web 2.0, how it is structured and controlled, manipulated and made profitable in web 2.0 platforms.

Data is the key in web 2.0. Without growing data from user input a platform remains static with no room for change and expanding capabilities. Much like Amazon’s growing catalogue database, Google’s search engine and Wikipedia’s articles.

Opportunities in data control exist in two extremes. The control and creation of data on one extreme, and the way it is manipulated on the other. For example on one extreme you have NAVTEQ’s enormous map database created from scratch, and on the other Google manipulate it in a way that’s useful to user’s.

Using an example that fits this pattern will be used for further explanation. The technology used in this example is Google maps and mashups technologies.  A ‘mashup’ is a service that combines pre-existing platforms and combines them together to create a new service; taking data from two or more external services and ‘mashing’ them together at the user’s discretion to create one superior service.

For example, a mashup service used by the New South Wales government has been used taking existing map data from Google maps as the lower end of the internet stack, and combining it with live update services from the top of the internet stack to create a mashup service. This mashup shows the live traffic incidents and flooded roads of New South Wales.

http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au/desktop.html, NSW Government; www.nsw.gov.au

Each web 2.0 platform will incorporate a certain strategy to control its data, these strategies can be one of the following:

  • Creation Strategies
  • Control Strategies
  • Framework Strategies
  • Access Strategies
  • Data Infrastructure Strategies

Mashup technologies line up with the Access strategies area. This is because of its use of gathering and combining data and information from other sources to create access to one superior service. This type of service does not require any new framework or data like platforms using the other strategies listed, but simply utilizes existing framework and existing data sources to provide users with a new service created by the users.

The advantage of the mashup technology is the freedom to utilize existing framework already provided by other services.

The different services that user’s “mash” together benefit from user input and exercise trust to improve the services. For example the use of Google maps and places; in which a user will search for a place or landmark they desire and will find reviews and ratings other people have submitted previously. Also present will be the company or organisation’s website to entice users to visit.

Google Maps

To summarise this topic; simply having the data or being in control of the data is not enough to succeed in a web 2.0 environment. An organisation needs to let the data it possesses or manipulates be free for user’s to control in order to grow into something unique and hard to replicate. Following a data strategy that aligns with the desired outcome will help establish what core practices are required for the application to succeed, and therefore the benefits from users is  realised.

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Comments
  1. RyanP says:

    I think this is shows quite well how large companies can use large amounts of data for very productive purposes. I’m also interested in where all this data comes from. I noticed from checking out the traffic mashup that they partially rely on users to report accidents on the roads. I think that shows the power that users have to not only improve the service, but also keep it far more current than traditional methods.

    It’s good to see too in the hotels example a review on the left from urbanspoon.com. That site aggregates user review to provide better perspectives on various eateries. Using this shows that (for the most part), the more locations data is sources from, the more diverse and helpful the mashup service can be.

    Great example!

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