In the third and final part of my series of ZDNet columns about Yellowikis as a Web 2.0 case study, I look at some of the design principles that can be applied by other Web 2.0 companies and services.

Following is a summary of principles that Yellowikis demonstrated. Be sure to check out the whole series for full details: Part 1 – Introduction; Part 2 – Industry Disruption and The Competition; Part 3 – Demonstrating Web 2.0 Principles.

Principles of Web 2.0 applied by Yellowikis

  • Web-based (of course) and uses wiki technology; the same MediaWiki software that powers Wikipedia.
  • Any user can both read and write content – adding business listings and
    editing them. To put it in ‘Web 2.0 wanker’ terms, it harnesses collective
  • Requires a significant amount of ‘trust’ in the users.
  • Can be deployed via the Web in countries all over the world (see Emily
    Chang’s interview
    with Paul Youlten for more details on this aspect).
  • Developed and is maintained by a small team (just Paul and his 14-year old
    daughter – both working part-time).
  • Has fast, lightweight and inexpensive development cycles.
  • Uses Open Source LAMP technologies (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) –
    meaning it is very cheap to run.
  • The content has no copyright and is freely licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License
  • Can and will hook into other Web systems, e.g. Google Maps. Indeed if it
    introduces its own APIs, then it will be able to be remixed by other
  • Relies on word-of-mouth and other ‘viral’ marketing.
  • Requires network effects to kick in order to be successful (at least at
    the scale of disrupting the Yellow Pages industry).
  • Yellowikis will get better the more people use it. The Wikipedia is an
    excellent example of this.

[Full story on ZDNet…]

I intend to do more of these Web 2.0 Case Studies, it’s been enjoyable and I’ve learnt a lot!