Have you been hearing the term Web 2.0 frequently? Do you have an idea about it already? If you are new, very good you have the right opportunity to know what it is in the right sense first time. If you already knew something about it, then check it out if what you have in mind is what it is, otherwise unlearn and relearn. If you think Web 2.0 is a technology, if you think just by using AJAX or rich UI in your web application then it is Web 2.0, if you think that it is an open source applcation that you can download and do some cool stuff, if you think it is a combination of technologies, then you are mistaken.
The key principle of Web 2.0 is “The Web as platform”. What this really means is that it is not just your application providing some information, rather there are multiple services (could be hosted by a different party at a different geographic location) integrated together and work together. Its just like how when you want your application to be running you need a hardware and an operating system and necessary softwares that can aid in running your application, Web 2.0 is aimed at using the Web as a platform, meaning multiple applications over the net collaboratedly working together to solve a purpose.
“…The question is particularly urgent because the Web 2.0 meme has become so widespread that companies are now pasting it on as a marketing buzzword, with no real understanding of just what it means. The question is particularly difficult because many of those buzzword-addicted startups are definitely not Web 2.0, while some of the applications we identified as Web 2.0, like Napster and BitTorrent, are not even properly web applications!…
…Like many important concepts, Web 2.0 doesn’t have a hard boundary, but rather, a gravitational core. You can visualize Web 2.0 as a set of principles and practices that tie together a veritable solar system of sites that demonstrate some or all of those principles, at a varying distance from that core…”
The following is the summary of the key principles of Web 2.0 from the article.
- 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
Read the article completely and you will clearly understand what is Web 2.0. Next time when you mention Web 2.0 make sure you are talking in the right context.