Many in the business community\u2014including those in IT\u2014relegate Web 2.0\u2019s clout to the under-20 set. A new study concludes that attitude is a mistake. The Web 2.0 model of consumer interaction and\u00a0participation is a mass phenomenon, concludes the Booz Allen Hamilton study of 2,400 consumers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. Companies that don\u2019t adapt their business models to the lessons of YouTube, Flickr and MySpace are in trouble, the study says. Key findings include:\n\nWeb 2.0 relevance cuts across gender and age. Forty-one percent of U.S. MySpace users are older than 35. That number was 35 percent for the United Kingdom and 29 percent for Germany.\n\nWeb 2.0 users have few privacy concerns. Sixty-four percent of U.S. messages are freely available to the public. U.K. respondents reported that number as 61 percent, while Germany reported 73 percent.\n\nWeb 2.0 capitalizes on ubiquitous connectivity. Approximately one-quarter of surveyed MySpace users are accessing MySpace from a laptop, a school or office computer, an Internet-enabled cafe or a BlackBerry.\n\nWeb 2.0 communities influence opinions and purchasing decisions. Thirty-nine percent of surveyed MySpace users receive product picks from virtual peers.The study determines that the Internet is establishing itself more strongly in consumers\u2019 lives. In particular, Web 2.0-influenced trends will affect how businesses get and keep customers. The study lists Web 2.0 opportunities that include shorter innovation cycles using customer integration, cross-media selling, customer service sites with end-user created content and wide participation, and using Web 2.0 as a brand channel. Web 2.0 is already at critical mass, the study concludes. Businesses who don\u2019t respond are placing themselves at risk.-Diann DanielRelated Links:\n\nYouTube, Wikipedia Voted into Top Five Brands\n\nWeb 2.0: A Community in Denial\n\nWeb 2.0\u2026For CIOs?\n\nThe Myth of Web 2.0Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.