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What Is Web 2.0 - A Definition

Aug 18, 2008
Web 2.0 is as yet something of a nebulous term, with as many different definitions out there as people defining it. This naturally can lead to some confusion. O'Reilly Media, an American company who have been one of the leaders in web development book publishing since the internet was in its infancy, came up with the term in a 2003 meeting. Tim O'Reilly and Dale Dougherty, the founders of the company coined the term.

You can find a technical definition of Web 2.0 on Tim O'Reilly's blog, but most will be left more confused than before upon reading it. O'Reilly has taken this five page definition and put it into (somewhat) simpler language:

"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 advantage 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."

The advancements that have been made in computing over the last 25 years are astounding. From DOS to today's portable devices, Web 2.0 is just another step along the same path; one which promises to make the web a more interactive place and more fun to visit. The transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 can be likened to this - with the web the way it is now, we are like spectators at a football game. In Web 2.0, we will be active participants; as if we were on one of the teams playing the game.

What are the differences between the two? For one, Web 2.0 will look different, with bright colors against white backgrounds, rounded fonts and an all over easy to read format are predicted to become the norm. Arial Rounded and Tahoma will replace Times New Roman and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) will be more heavily used to keep websites more streamlined.

The functionality of Web 2.0 will also be different. MySpace, Twitter and the like are a glimpse at the future, with interaction between user and site being possible. The Web will continue bringing people together to interact and communicate.

Social bookmarking as well as networking will be a big part of Web 2.0. Yahoo Answers is a good example, with people having to ask questions about anything, with users earning points for their answers.

Blogging is something which is often thought of in connection with Web 2.0. Just like a diary, blogging lets people write about anything they like; with the difference being that anyone can now read it. A blog can of course be kept private, but most bloggers prefer to share their thoughts.

The exchange of information between web users overall is a big part of what Web 2.0 is about. Article writing has become a popular activity, with people using them to promote websites or provide information to the public as a whole.

Flickr and YouTube have ushered in an age of picture and video sharing, with interaction possible between poster and viewer.

All this of course is only a hint of things to come. As we see an increasing number of websites moving towards the Web 2.0 standard, there will be uses for the internet which we haven't even thought of yet. And who knows what Web 3.0 will bring....
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of Be Successful News , a site that provides information and articles on how to succeed in your own home or small business.
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