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July 17, 2007

The Web is Us/Ing Us

What is Web 2.0?

What's the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 is a concept, not a technology... though a number of technologies certainly facilitate Web 2.0. In the original use of the expression by Tim O'Reilly (of O'Reilly Media), for example, he alluded to the use of XML and DHTML. What those acronyms stand for is unimportant. The important thing was that these technologies made it easy for the web to move from "sites" to "applications," with rapidly updated content, authored by anyone with a web browser.

The transformation of the web using these technologies is evident...

Web 1.0
Web 1.x
Web 2.0
Few -> Many
Many -> Everybody
Everybody <-> Everybody
Disorganized
Taxonomy
Folksonomy
Static Information
Rapidly Updated Information
Collaboration
Clicks
Comments
Creation
Content providers and users
User-annotated content
User-created Content
Hits
Members
Networks

 

When did Web 2.0 begin?

Of course, long-time web users will protest that those notions were always in place... and that, in fact, the Internet is still not as democratic as it once was. However, few would argue that the newer technologies haven't made participation easier and for more accessible than it used to be.

  • Usenet (1979)
  • Dial-up Discussion Boards (1980s)
  • Personal Websites (1992-1993)
  • Discussion Boards (1990s)
  • Blogs and Wikis (1995-1996)
  • XML/XHTML (1997)
  • Social Software (2002-2003)