What is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0, a phrase is a cluster term for the new phase of World Wide Web, which was coined by O’Reilly and Media live International in 2003 and popularized by the first Web 2.0 conference in 2004. There is no certain definition of Web 2.0, even though; it stands for the transformation of the web into a full-fledged computing platform.

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Web 2.0 is not a modified version of World Wide Web, but it is a different way to utilize Internet into web platform like weblogs, social book marking, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds (and other forms of many-to-many publishing), social networking web, Web APIs, Web standards and online service provider. It is like open sourcing and genuine interactivity in which user can upload anything, download anything and can use the content according to its own wish. There is no restriction of more or less measure of content, uploading and downloading. All these are absolutely free.

According to ‘O’Reilly, the inventor of Web 2.0, “Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform”. So Web 2.0 is a new way of business via Internet. It’s really a new business tactic that is being used on the mass level across the world. The success of ‘YouTube’, ‘Orkut’, ‘MySpace’, ‘Google’, ‘live’, ‘Wikipedia’ and many more websites are the biggest examples of Web 2.0.

As we have already mentioned that Web 2.0 has not any specific definition. Many users have defined its in their own way. According to Wikipedia, “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.”

On the other hand, according to Wall Street Technology powered by CMP ‘United Business Media’, the coinventor of Web 2.0, “Web 2.0 refers to Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) that use the Internet as a platform to create interactive user interfaces that resemble PCbased applications. Typically, RIAs emphasize online collaboration among users.”

Several supporters of Web 2.0 have defined it according to their uses, observations and experiences, but in brief, we can say that:

  • Web 2.0 is a conversion of websites from unique information structure having the sources of content and functionality. That’s why being a computing platforms it serves web applications to end-users.
  • Web 2.0 is a new way of organizing and categorizing of the content, audio, video, pictures and movies highly stressing to the growth of the economic value of the Web.
  • Tim O’Reilly, the father of Web 2.0 along with his colleague John Battelle summarized the key principles Web 2.0 applications in 2005. According to them:
    a)The web as a platform
    b)Data as the driving force
  • Network effects created by an architecture of participation
  • Innovation in assembly of systems and sites composed by pulling together features from distributed, independent developers (a kind of “open source” development)
  • Lightweight business models enabled by content and service syndication
  • The end of the software adoption cycle (“the perpetual beta”)
  • Software above the level of a single device, leveraging the power of the “Long Tail”
  • Ease of picking-up by early adopters

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About Krishna Srinivasan

He is Founder and Chief Editor of JavaBeat. He has more than 8+ years of experience on developing Web applications. He writes about Spring, DOJO, JSF, Hibernate and many other emerging technologies in this blog.

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