From "Amazoning the News" by Ellen Kampinsky, Shayne Bowman and Chris Willis.
1. Share: Think back to this past Christmas season. What was number one reason people got online? According to Pew Research, it was not to buy gifts, but to send email. They wanted that emotion of warm, human connectedness.
2. Inform: People have a need to know, which is why they come to news and weather sites, for example, and why MSNBC.com and CNN.com are so highly rated. 96% of web users are seeking information, says Jakob Nielsen.
3. Create: This is the flip side of inform and this is one of the ways, obviously, the web is so different. For just one example, think about any forum, or my new favorite, Plastic.com, where users are creating content.
4. Entertain: The game sites certainly satisfy this goal, but so does Shockwave with its animations, so do all the goofy indie film sites, so does AdCritic.com, where you can see the best TV ads of the week.
5. Transact: To buy and sell. Need I say more than Amazon and eBay.