Eish!!: What is Web 2.0?

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What is Web 2.0?

As a precursor to an article I have been formulating for a while I have decided to discuss the Web 2.0 concept. It's a buzzword that is well entrenched in the consciousness of those who are web savvy but causes the average web traveler's eyes to gloss over.

Those of you worried about glossy eyes skip this paragraph. The following is the definition Tim O'Reilly came up with, which pretty much sums up what Web 2.0 is, albeit a little wordy
  • Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an "architecture of participation," and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences.

Web 2.0 is a term penned by either Joe Firmage or Tim O'Reilly in 2003. You will remember that in 2001 the dot.com bubble burst. There was a whole load of negative sentiment around all things online and, in my opinion, web-based innovations needed to distance themselves from what had been. Web 2.0, was the new internet.

There was more to it than that, however. The new internet startups that were re-igniting the sector were being built around some very different fundamentals. I like how one contributor puts it : Web 2.0 is made of people! While not exactly true, the difference between 'Web 1.0' the new 'Web 2.0' is the interactively.

Previously content was static and delivered to the users. Web 2.0 brings relevant content intuitively to the users and allows them to interact with the site owners and other users. But wait, there's more. Web 2.0 site visitors are able to contribute to the type of content displayed, what headlines are most prominent or even amend the content. A great example of this is the massively popular Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia built on the premise that anyone can edit the pages on the site.

Web 2.0 has also brings the whole concept of social networking to the masses. Again, through the interactive tools sites like MySpace, Bebo & Facebook have exploded. The intuitive design attributes meant you no longer needed to know the AIM or IM identity of your friends. You friends find you through your networks.

Finally, Web 2.0 has caused the advent of the 'New Media Revolution.' The online tools available have made it not only possible but easy, for the man-in-the-street to publish his thoughts, either like me via the written word, in audio form (podcasting) or even visually via online video. This has left the web awash with user-generated content to which a subsequent Eish!! article will be referring to.

Have I done a good job of explaining Web 2.0? If not, add your thoughts in the comments ... (now there's something Web 2.0ish, comments...)

Here's a list of Web 1.0 and the Web 2.0 equivalent that illustrates the way things have evolved.
(Source : www.anybudd.com)
  • AltaVista vs. Google
  • Hotmail vs. Yahoo Mail
  • Ofoto vs. Flickr
  • Mp3.com vs. iTunes
  • Geocities vs. Blogger
  • MapQuest vs. Google Maps
  • Encarta vs. Wikipedia
  • Netscape vs. Firefox
Click here for a massive list of Web 2.0 sites & companies.

Finally, click here for a YouTube presentation given on the topic.

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Yeah, great site the Go2Web20 one! If you look closely you'll see Afrigator is there... ;-)

Thanks for this info. Did i see Last.fm on the Go2web20 site?

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