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The Future of Web Apps: 7 Things Companies Must Do to Succeed

January 15, 2009 – 8:52 am PDT – by Monica OBrien 34 Comments

succeedMonica O’Brien writes about business and career advice at her blog, Twenty Set. You can also follow her on Twitter.

News Flash: Web 2.0 is so over, and nobody has made any money. Large social networking sites have yet to give brands a method of monetizing, and the tired business model of “get funded then get bought by Google” has been a bust for both the Googles and the startups (see Feedburner, YouTube, and DoubleClick).

So companies need to do something different, which means that we are on the frontier of a shift in online communication and activity. The first shift was when this little online bookstore called Amazon took over eCommerce, and the second shift was when a war between MySpace and Facebook became worthy of Wall Street Journal coverage.

The third shift is already starting to take place, and it’s likely that only the biggest companies (like Google and Facebook) are poised to make it, due to the resources web applications will soon require. Here is where the future of web applications is headed:


1. More automation


People are just plain tired of trying to keep up with social media. Or at least I am, and I work in social media! Web applications need to get more automated than they already are, and they need to do the obvious things I forget to do.

Like when I visit a website three times, I want my feed reader to automatically subscribe me to it. When I share posts, I want my feed reader to automatically publish those links to my Twitter account sporadically throughout the day, and a roundup of links to my blog every three days. When I comment on an article, I want my feed reader to automatically subscribe me to the comments.

As a former web software developer, I know this stuff isn’t difficult, so why aren’t companies doing enough of it?


2. Customized customizations


customizableMaybe you aren’t like me. Maybe you want to publish links from your feed reader to Twitter, but not to your blog. Maybe you want Twitter to get updated right when you share. Maybe you don’t care what anyone else has commented, you just want to share your opinion.

Companies: it takes simple if-then statements to manage these customizations and make everyone happy. It is so easy to create these settings; it baffles me why it isn’t done already. With the fast-paced creation of new web applications, your customers will find a solution to their unique problem. Make sure the solution comes from you.


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