The term “Web2.0″ has been thrown around for a couple of years now, and while there is a great deal of buzz surrounding this new term, there seems to be some significant differences of opinion concerning its definition. So as many suggest this is the future of the web as we know it, I figure it’s a good time to try and set some definitions in place for future reference.
Originally coined from a web development conference held in October 2004 by O’Reilly Media and MediaLive International, Web 2.0 is the term many are using for the architecture and application development associated with the second phase of the world wide web – the web renaissance so to speak.
So what does it really mean?
Understanding Web 2.0 is better gained through examples rather than technical definitions, which is what John Battelle, Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty, Web 2.0′s earliest proponents, did at the inaugural Web 2.0 conference.
Some of the examples that were presented at the first of the Web 2.0 conferences are listed below:
domain name speculation
search engine optimization
cost per click
web services (APIs)
So what’s the difference? Web 1.0, as we can now call it, was all about static web pages, and navigation via surfing and search engines, whereas Web 2.0 is focused on a more interactive and dynamic world wide web. Wikipedia suggests that Web 2.0 refers to one or more of the following:
- The transition of websites from isolated information silos to sources of content and functionality, thus becoming a computing platform serving web applications to end users
- A social phenomenon referring to an approach to creating and distributing Web content itself, characterized by open communication, decentralization of authority, freedom to share and re-use, and “the market as a conversation”
- A more organized and categorized content, with a far more developed deeplinking web architecture
- A shift in economic value of the web, possibly surpassing that of the dot com boom of the late 1990s
- A marketing term to differentiate new web businesses from those of the dot com boom, which due to the bust now seem discredited
- The resurgence of excitement around the possibilities of innovative web applications and service that gained a lot of momentum around mid 2005.
So no matter how you choose to define it, or whether you think it’s a buzz term or not, there is no doubting that the web has undergone some significant changes in the past few years, and the future is looking more interesting than ever.
Some of the concepts and technologies that are driving the new wave of the web include weblogs, linklogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds and other forms of “many to many” publishing; social software, web APIs, web standards, and online web services. These formats are being championed by brands such as Google, Flickr, del.icio.us, digg, and Technorati, to name but a few.
Even if you don’t believe the Web 2.0 hype, make sure you familiarize yourself with the above technologies and brands, because they are shaping the future of the web as we know it.