Web 2.0 For Newbies – What Is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 for Newbies

Introduction Web 2.0

The wave of the future is here, actually it has been here for some time and while most people think of things like MySpace, FaceBook and even YouTube there is a more technical term for it and it is called Web 2.0.

In “times of old” people relied on the Internet as a one-way tool for communicating with others - think static websites (there are still a lot of them around).  Most business entrepreneurs will set up a website, then offer their opinions, advice and more to anyone willing to listen, pay attention or chime in — and BUY STUFF from them.

That has all changed.  Now people are relying on a relatively old concept to change the way they do business on the Web.  Instead of using the Internet as a one-way tool for communicating, people are now realizing the Web’s potential for creating an interactive, dynamic environment.  In this environment, individuals, consumers and businesses can collaborate and communicate in new and simpler ways.

First popularized in 2004 and coined by O’Reilly Media, Web 2.0 is the “next generation” web.  If features more collaboration between parties and more interaction between the site owner and the readers/visitors to the site.  In reality it’s not really that new – think blogs.  Blogs permitted two-way interaction between the writer and the readers.  Think forums.  Forums also provide the same two-way interaction.

Web 2.0 allows more of the social interaction with multiple users through sharing of information.

When we think of the term “next generation”, we automatically think of something new and innovative. The way se use the Web is new, but the technology supporting what people do with the Web has existed for decades.

While 2.0 isn’t exactly new, the next generation user or modern web users are using the technology supporting it in new ways. Long gone are the days of old where reading information on the Web was much like reading a book. Today people use the web for various purposes, including sharing information with others and to collaborate and communicate with others. To understand this, you must understand Web 2.0.

What Is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 is a broad term describing many different kinds of websites, websites that provide a platform where end-users have control over the content of sites.  Web 2.0 includes social networking sites, wikis, sites like Squidoo.com and MySpace.com, folksonomies, Blogs, RSS Feeds and other sites that emphasize collaboration and sharing among users.

Web 2.0 isn’t a NEW Internet, but a new way of communicating using the World Wide Web. It focuses on building communities where people come together to share their ideas, passions and interests. Some people used collaborative and community-based sites since the dawn of the Web. Only recently have people other than consumers begun realizing the true potential of collaborative networking.

The “old” way of doing things focused on individual users creating applications from which they presented visitors information.

For example, a person sat at their computer, created a website and provided information to visitors. They sold product to visitors. They allowed feedback, usually in the form of a one-way email communication, web form or other application.

Web 2.0 encourages an approach to the Web where people form communities and collaborate to provide information on the Web. Instead of one person sitting at the end of a computer terminal, there are multiple people at many terminals all capable of accessing the same information, like a list of your favorites you bookmark on the Web.

Consider for example, Wikipedia.org. This is an ideal example of how the Web is transforming. This modern-day encyclopedia of information is a collection of insights and information gathered from people across the world. There is no one “editor” or author, rather people share and collaborate to create a resource that includes insights from all walks of life. The technology supporting this site allows users to collaborate and edit information using some formal and informal guidelines. The community works to approve or disprove new information, but overall, just about anyone can place information on the site.

To understand Web 2.0, it will help to explore some of the common sites and terms used in conjunction with this new web platform.

Web 2.0 Tag Cloud

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Web_2.0_Map.svg

Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0

Additional Web 2.0 Resource: http://techwatch.reviewk.com/2008/04/web-20s-top-1000-list-2/

Next day we will look at Web 2.0 websites and will spend some time exploring the different sites that makeWeb 3.0 up Web 2.0, and how you can use them to your benefit.

However before we jump into the next topic tomorrow, I am going to take you on a short detour to explain Web 3.0 — yah, just when we were all figuring out what the heck Web 2.0 is, someone up and coined Web 3.0.  We’re already seeing the start of the technological revolution that is Web 3.0.  It’s great, and it’s very exciting.

Resources – Other Posts In This Series

Robert Benjamin OIBO dot org

 

About Rob 'n Mo

I'm a man of mystery. I like anonymity, but on the WWW there is not much of it...
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