Why companies will need to change as a result of web 2.0

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As mentioned in a previous post, I have spent a couple of days in London, UK.  The location is great, but getting here was a nightmare.  Those who follow my status on Twitter, or FaceBook will know this.  I spent a day updating my status obsessively. Like it or not, my friends would have received a real time feed of what I ate, and how I felt about the airline. 

Web 2.0 is changing a lot of things.  The collective emotion around a particular product or service can be measures in what people are writing and posting in the blogs, and profiles.  People are sharing information and aggregating data. 

Companies are being created just to aggregate and present other peoples information to give the public a whole other view.

Here is a great example.  While looking for a flight to London, I used Kayak.com and was blown away how expensive the flight was.  I was meeting up with Robin Hopper from our head office in Boston so I decided to see the impact of meeting in Boston First and flying from there.  In a few clicks I was able to determine that it was cheaper by more than three times to fly Boston-Toronto-London than it was to just fly Toronto to London even though it was the exact same flight number on the Toronto leg of the trip.  I called Air Canada to verify and a few more things came to light.  The prices on the web are unrelated to the prices over the phone to discourage you using human beings.  Prices are also unrelated  to distance travelled and more about local market conditions..  I "get" why travelling over a weekend is cheaper.  I "get" how booking in advance can reduce the price.   Even market conditions can be a factor.  But I can't think of any product that varies this much.  Air Canada would not let me pay for the Boston leg, and simply get on in Toronto, so I flew to Boston first.  Having our head office there would mean I could find a good reason to go out of my way.  And the $1,200 savings seemed worth it since Robin and I could plan our meetings during the flight. By the way, I plan to deplane in Toronto and not continue on to Boston.  That little fib saves me hundred of dollars.   It wastes seats, but I feel forced into it.

I'm not trying to centre our Air Canada.  I'm sure the industry itself is reasonable consistent, and perhaps I'll Kayak.com this check that fact out sometime.  To their credit, Air Canada does present a great matrix of departure and return dates to help you make an educated decision in that department so kudos there.  The web site is quite good and my trip details could be found on airCanada.com even though I booked through a third party.

 

Moving forward, I think companies are going to have to assume the "ease of discovery" and availability of the information will only get better.  "Gaming" the system, which has been "gaming" consumers will not be an option.



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1. 21/02/2022 David Carter


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