“Lightweight Models & Cost-Effective Scalability”

This week is the last web 2.0 pattern, which is “Lightweight Models & Cost-Effective Scalability”. It combines with two concepts; firstly, the models are small constructing and verifying properties of a model within a bounded domain automatically, by means of enumeration over the domain. Additionally, scalability in web 2.0 applies to business models as well as technology; and changes in cost, re-usability, process; and strategy mean much more can be done for less. Therefore, adopt a scalable, cost-effective strategy encompassing business models, development models, and technology to deliver products to market faster and cheaper without sacrificing future growth. (Tim O’ Reilly, 2005)

There are some significant information about lightweight models:

  • Simplicity and organic web-based
  • Support lightweight programming models that allow for loosely coupled systems: Easy to make changes with less risk. Small pieces of applications/plugins are also less specialized, more reusable, shareable, and hackable.
  • Open source software – reuse easy and more cost-effective
  • Think sybdication, not coordination – RSS feed or REST-based web services
  • Design for hackability and remixability – an important goal for web services

The best example of lightweight model that I am going to explain is MailChimp.

MailChimp is a do-it-yourself online email marketing service. It is a distributed application that provides easy-to-use web based tool to over 300,000 users worldwide, from a single user to Fortune 500 Corporation. It offers free marketing service which allows its customers to design professional HTML emails, send emails with confidence, manage email list and track their own marketing campaigns in minutes with its simple tools. MailChimp delivers more than 200 million emails per month from over 70 countries and in 26 languages, including Cyrillic, Mandarin and Japanese…etc.(MailChimp, 2012). It has flexible plans for every budget as well as the forever free plan. It offers user-friendly web services interfaces and content syndication as well as re-using the data services of others.

In addition, MailChimp is an open programming language that makes users easy to sync with outside applications and databases, and also supports the most common programs and applications available (MailChimp, 2012). Whats more, MailChimp uses web 2.0 technology, RSS to develop the tool, called RSS-to-Email tool. This tool provides the users to automatically send a newsletter whenever they update their blog (or any RSS feed). It also offers two web services which are MailChimp API and MailChimp Plugins to MailChimp users. It has used MailChimp API as its lightweight programming business model which provides a high-level of integration between these applications and creates a more seamless experience for its customers (The Small Business Web, 2010).

Two web services:

  • MailChimp API is a way for people to “sync” your customer database, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Content Management System (CMS), or e-commerce shopping cart with MailChimp (MailChimp, 2012). There is a version of the MailChimp API for PHP, .Net, Ruby, and XML. It is open and free, which encourages the third party developers to link their applications to MailChimp. Therefore, MailChimp API can be integrated with other applications like Drupal, WordPress, Zen Cart…etc. It is even compatible with Google Open Social platform, and allows people to interface MailChimp with MySpace, Ning, and other social networks (MailChimp, 2012). These will enable users to extend MailChimp functionality and make it cheap, and reusable and remix and share with others.
  • MailChimp plugin allows MailChimp users to connect MailChimp to their own favorite web applications such as CMS, blog, e-commerce shopping cart. It is created by some crafty MailChimp users using MailChimp APIs.

To sum up, the development of web 2.0 technology has impacted on people and business. MailChimp shows a great example in web 2.0 application with lightweight Models and cost-effective scalability, as well as innovation in assembly. According to MailChimp(2012), in December 2009 had more than 19000 users, and it increased significantly up to over 27000 users in May 2010; therefore, in the future, the Internet will support more web applications and the web server will offer more and more free and open web services.


O’reilly. “What Is Web 2.0”. Retrieved May 16, 2012.

Mailchimp (2012). “About MailChimp”. Retrieved May 16, 2012.

Research.att (2010). “Lightweight Modeling and Analysis: Studies and Comparisons of Alloy and Promela/Spin”. Retrieved May 16, 2012.

The Small Business (2010). “The Small Business Web”. Retrieved May 16, 2012.

Kang.K (2010). “Lightweight Models and Cost-effective Scalability”. Retrieved May 16, 2012.