The perfect Café Latte, or why Web 2.0 needs the right pressure

 Blog 26082005(004) I live in a neat little street in the heart of cologne, and there are several small cafe´s. One has just opened up their doors some weeks ago and it is directly to the left when I leave the door. I used to go there every morning for the last days, catching my coffee for the drive to work. Greg the owner, an englishman, yesterday told me, that he nearly tried 500 different combinations of different sorts of beans, pressure for the water, humidity and temperature, until he found „his“ combination for the perfect Café Latte. He further explained to me the magics of the italian „Barista´s“, which are roughly the „bartenders“ who live for their coffee. Now, his coffee is really great, but what does this have to do with web 2.0?

When you want to sell coffee sell websites, or you are a consultant in the internet industry, you should find „your“ best mixture of components.

The analogy lies in the temperature and the pressure: when there´s a new hype out there, the temperature is hot. Everyone uses tags? Ok, all of my webprojects need tags, too. There are blogs, vlogs, AJAX, mashups, communities: my projects need them, too.

Really? You can´t put all the different beans out there into one coffee, you can´t use 100 different sorts of milk in one coffee. The secret lies in the right combination and a suitable pressure. One will destroy every good-thought project by just adding features people don´t understand or are not used to use. In this way the german internet market is quite different from the USA, where people tend to be more playfull and open.

When media-companies like the WAZ want to invest into their internet branch (they will call it west1) and extend the synergies of print and online, then they should consider to just try things out – or rely on proofed concepts from „internet-baristas“. Baristas in this context are e.g. journalists who do nothing else than writing their life long. They should know how to adress the people, or should be encouraged to try new things out – but on the basis of long knowledge and professional journalism. They should be heavily envolved in any plans which have to do with community marketing or developing new markets.

Of course, these Journalist-Baristas may be old fashioned, narrow minded – but it was your job as a consultant to endorse them into new techniques, and make them trying out all the stuff out there. But before selling the coffee they should have found their best combination – otherwise the customers will have their coffee next door.