Thursday, November 15, 2007

What is Web 2.0?

The buzzword “Web 2.0” has been floating around for a couple of years now. Some define the term as a general description of the second generation of the web – moving away from “brochure type” websites through the use of interactive technologies. Other people use “Web 2.0” to mean a certain “look” for website elements, including 3D tabs and buttons, more cutting edge graphics, and a less boxy or grid-based website layout.

The attempt to clarify the exact meaning of this now ubiquitous term has caused quite a bit of disagreement between groups.

Whether you are gung-ho for Web 2.0, not too enthusiastic about embracing the concept, or have no idea of what it is — read on, so you can weigh in the next time it’s brought up at a business luncheon.

The term stems from O’Reilly Media in 2004. It suggests a new version of the WWW, yet doesn’t refer to any update of technical specifications – only to the ways the developers and users will use the web.

Technologies included:

  • Blogs
  • Mashups
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Wikis
  • Podcasts
  • RSS Feeds
  • APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
  • Online Web Services

Many more technologies are included.

Characteristics often include browser-based programs, which allow :

  1. Interactivity
  2. Participation
  3. Syndication

Many people today are requesting website design that is Web 2.0 compliant. Often what they are referring to is a “look”. Examples are gradient boxes, shiny floor effect, and bright shiny plump logo design, rather than any specific functionality.

In a nutshell, the term “Web 2.0” means different things to different people. Like abstract art, it’s what you want it to be. Since there aren’t any set standards, you are free to interpret what it means to you and whether to apply the principle to your website design.

If you want to have some fun with Web 2.0, check out the fun sites listed below:

Web 2.0 Logo Generator
Web 2.0 Company Name Generator


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