Monday, April 10, 2006

Web 2.0 - The Basics and what it is?

Today I was surfing through wordpress blogs and I found extreamely good article on web 2.0 by Shreyas a.k.a Chrono Cracker

Web 2.0 is everywhere around us, simply everywhere. Whether it is the latest news about the World Wide Web, or a review on any blog, or the latest website buzz, Web 2.0 is ruling the world today. Web 2.0 is the most powerful force in the web today, a force that relies purely on innovation than invention and a force that is growing every single second. Yet, Web 2.0 had it’s humble beginnings.

What exactly is Web 2.0? Is it some kind of new software? Is it AJAX enabled websites or is it just innovative services? Nope, Web 2.0 is just a buzzword, a catch-phrase, however you like to call it. Infact after the initial dot cot bust the WWW was suffering as people had seriously no real interest in it and it was starting to get lame. It was then that the concept of “Web 2.0″ really began in a conference brainstorming session between O’Reilly and MediaLive International. Dale Dougherty, web pioneer and O’Reilly VP, noted that far from having “crashed”, the web was more important than ever, with exciting new applications and sites popping up with surprising regularity. What’s more, the companies that had survived the collapse seemed to have some things in common. The dot-com collapse marked that the web was not about just websites, it was a turning point for the whole of the web. The people agreed to call it Web 2.0, spicing it up and making it sound all-important in the first Web 2.0 conference and thus was born Web 2.0.

So let us come back to our original question. What is Web 2.0? The World Wide Web is continously evolving, 24/7. It is not a new technology which fuels this evolution but instead interaction and attitude. Simply said, Web 2.0 is the collective term for the evolution of the web from simply websites to interaction and innovation. It is the 2nd generation of services available on the world wide web. That’s all!

Tim O’Reilly defines Web 2.0 as such‘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 advantages 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.’ If you don’t understand it, don’t try to! These guys are known to confuse the heck out of normal people, so stick with what I have said above.

There are tons and tons of elements and characteristics that are part and parcel of Web 2.0 and at the same time help it to further evolve - AJAX, Tags, Blogs, Podcasts, Wikis, Feeds, social networking, social bookmarking, Memes, social news, etc. A few best examples of Web 2.0 services/websites are Digg,, Flickr, Netvibes, Gmail, etc. The original web dubbed Web 1.0 used to be just websites and surfing. Web 2.0 is different, it’s very base is interaction and communication. Democracy and Public Participation are what Web 2.0 is really about. Web 2.0 is about the individual and not the group, it aims to serve benefit to every single person surfing the web, the person with different thinking and not just the mid-section. Web 2.0 also depends on Hyperlinks more than content and flash more than static images.

Web 1.0 is nothing but just static HTML pages without the option to comment. What about Web 2.0? Take a look around, it’s just about everywhere, even this very blog is an example of Web 2.0. The main purpose of Web 2.0 is that the web must change to something that really enhances our life. Web 2.0 aims at developing the whole web into an enormous brain, a true democracy that is run by the people and people alone and so far it is succeeded. One factor that really has fuelled Web 2.0 is broadband. With unlimited broadband penetrating a large portion of the world, the use of the internet increased drastically and with it the interest in Web 2.0.

Today most of the things that we do offline can be done online as well thanks to 2.0 - Documents, Spreadsheets, Images, Animation, Designing, Formatting, storage, music, videos, your own desktop and whatever that you can think of. Infact the need for a Web based Operating system based on Web 2.0 has been chorused by many groups.

Web 2.0 has definitely redefined the Web that we live in. Infact, it is the one of the main reasons for the re-growth of the Web from around 2003. Though the term may have been coined just as a buzzword, Web 2.0 is best exemplified by it’s services. Web 2.0 will probably never be complete, change is the only thing constant in this world… Web 2.0 will continue and and continue and in the end the people will be the winners!

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