Most people invest a great multitude of both time and effort into the Web. Some of them like to share thoughts and media content, while others seek to share their experiences through specialized blogs. Regardless of the effort any of us provides, every time we use the web, we expect something in return; whether it be self satisfaction, money or reach. With that said, for each level of effort invested, there is a different ROI that can be expected or even reached as a maximum.
Through extensive research and my humble experience, I was able to come up with an analogy of the Web’s contribution levels comparing it with a city made up of 4 different layers.
1. The Web Citizen:
The web citizen is the minimal level of web existence and it requires less effort, money and/or time in order to become a part of an online community. For example, uploading a YouTube video, posting a comment, or uploading a couple of photos to Flickr. There is no question that these events add value to the Web, and give personal satisfaction to the user. But can a user, with more time and resources, do more, and give back more to the Web?
That’s where the second level comes to play…
2. The Cafes & Restaurants of the Internet – the communities:
This is the community and social circles part of our city analogy including blogs, YouTube channels, Facebook and Twitter social circles. By creating an account on any of these, you build a community around yourself (or brand). Now, the effort you’re spending is more organized, benefiting more people, and in return benefiting you by allowing you to reach more people, and maybe make a bit of money if you add adverts to your Blog or YouTube channel. But information, videos and photos are so common, and there is nothing you cannot find online if you look in the right places.
The next level up is offering Web utilities and services…