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A new wave of startups are making hay out of the Internet's ability to empower citizens and enrich those who help with the empowerment....


The massive success of MySpace and the exemplary strategy of Flickr are milestones in a new high-tech wave reminiscent of the craziness of the early dot-com days. This rebooting owes everything to the enhanced power and pervasiveness of the Web, which has finally matured to the point where it can fulfill some of the outlandish promises that we heard in the '90s.
The generic term for this movement, especially among the hundreds of new companies jamming the waiting rooms of venture-capital offices, is Web 2.0, but that's misleading–some supposedly Web 1.0 companies like eBay and Google have been clueful about this all along. A more fitting description comes from Mary Hodder, the CEO of a social-video-sharing start-up called Dabble. "This is the live Web," she says.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Vanderbeeken, who is in charge of the successful experience design blog at Experientia titledPutting People First, is a specialist in visioning, identity development and strategic communications. He worked in Belgium (his home country), USA, Denmark and Italy for both profit and non-profit, studied at Columbia University, and is now a senior partner in Experientia, an experience design consultancy based in Turin, Italy.

Prior to Experientia, he was communications manager of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (Ivrea, Italy), European communications coordinator for the World Wide Fund for Nature (or WWF, Copenhagen, Denmark), marketing director of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (New York, USA) and chief press officer of Antwerp 93, Cultural Capital of Europe (Antwerp, Belgium).