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What is Web 2.0?

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You may have heard this term before, perhaps even read something about it, but your still slightly confused about what it actually is. It does sound very generic and would probably be better suited as a different kind of internet. Perhaps a 'sequel' to the internet. You'd be forgiven for thinking this, and there seem to be a number of different theories on what Web 2.0 actually means.

 

To put it in one sentence, Web 2.0 is the use of technology through the internet that aims to share information, to collaborate with other users through web sites. Social networking websites are the prime example, with Bebo, MySpace and Facebook really taking off. But it didn't stop there. Blog sites such as Blogger with thousands of wikis and blogs became a huge evolution of Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 is about accessing web content in an open and social way. Web 2.0 has certain characteristics; a rich user experience, user participation, dynamic content, metadata, web standards and scalability.

The concept of Web 2.0 began with a conference brainstorming session between O'Reilly and MediaLive International. After the crash of the dot-com bubble in the fall of 2001, O'Reilly and MediaLive International noted that the web was more important than ever. In fact, exciting new applications and websites were popping up everywhere, and these websites often had something in common. Thus, the Web 2.0 terms was coined for them, and the Web 2.0 Conference was born.

In their initial brainstorming, they formulated some examples of Web 2.0:

The advent of photo sharing websites like Flickr and blogging communities such as Blogger and Wordpress had replaced the personal homepage. Britannica Online had been replaced by Wikipedia, a massive online resource of information where users actually enter the information. itunes and Napster replaced mp3.com.

Double-click banners and domain name speculation had been replaced by search engine optimisation (SEO), Google Adsense and cost-per-click advertising.
Your standard newpaper style news websites were replaced by Digg, where users can submit and vote for the most popular articles.

The list went on and on.

It's about the people, when it comes down to it. It is a connection of individuals sharing ideas, and building relationships. But what is it mostly? A big buzz word!