What is Web 2.0

I am sure all of us, have read about this term somewhere, one way or another. Computer and the internet have evolve to a competent tool that communicate with each other often with participation of more than one user per session. The day of personal computer is a stand alone machine is nearly coming to the end. So, what is Web 2.0 actually? According to wikipedia, it can be defined as,

Web 2.0 is a term often applied to a perceived ongoing transition of the World Wide Web from a collection of websites to a full-fledged computing platform serving web applications to end users. Ultimately Web 2.0 services are expected to replace desktop computing applications for many purposes.

The term Web 2.0 begin when during a brainstorming session between Tim O Reilly and MediaLive International. They were discussing about the fall of the dot.com company when the bubble finally burst in 2001. In the discussion, they that the surviving dot.com company have many things in common. So, what is it?

In his article, Tim O Riley explain in detail what he means as Web 2.0. He list out 7 points to clearly define it

1.The Web As Platform.
Tim said that, Web 2.0 doesn t have a hard boundary, but rather, a gravitational core.

2. Harnessing Collective Intelligence.
Unlike conventional webpages, Web 2.0 is more that one person making and developing his own website. It is more than that. To quote an example from Tim’s article, Yahoo!, the first great internet success story, was born as a catalog, or directory of links, an aggregation of the best work of thousands, then millions of web users. While Yahoo! has since moved into the business of creating many types of content, its role as a portal to the collective work of the net's users remains the core of its value.

The best way to illustrate this is blogging culture. Where conventional webpages are more of personal views without other people’s participation, blogging encourage user to leave comment and give idea to what they are writing about.

3. Data is the Next Intel Inside
Database management is a core competency of Web 2.0 companies, so much so that we have sometimes referred to these applications as "infoware" rather than merely software.

4. End of the Software Release Cycle
The characteristics of internet era software is that it is delivered as a service, not as a product. This is something that Sun have come up years ago, which they say, in the future, PC will be less dependent on rigid software but network or the internet.

5. Lightweight Programming Models
Majority of the current software we are using are heavy and complicated. But much as the web succeeded precisely because it overthrew much of hypertext theory, substituting a simple pragmatism for ideal design, RSS has become perhaps the single most widely deployed web service because of its simplicity, while the complex corporate web services stacks have yet to achieve wide deployment.

6. Software Above the Level of a Single Device
Web 2.0 no longer limited to the PC platform.

7. Rich User Experiences
A Web 2.0 word processor would support wiki-style collaborative editing, not just standalone documents. But it would also support the rich formatting we've come to expect in PC-based word processors. Writely is a good example of such an application, although it hasn't yet gained wide traction.

To sum it up O Riley list out these points which must have for web 2.0
- Services, not packaged software, with cost-effective scalability
- Control over unique, hard-to-recreate data sources that get richer as more people use them
- Trusting users as co-developers
- Harnessing collective intelligence
- Leveraging the long tail through customer self-service
- Software above the level of a single device
- Lightweight user interfaces, development models, AND business models

If you want to know if your website is Web 2.0 compliance or not, you can check it here!

No comments: