Are you one of those people who thinks of Web 2.0 as nothing more than a weighty buzz word with no actual substance behind it?
If you are you are not unusual. Some people do, while others doff their hats to it as the latest in online capability when it comes to developement and design. What's the reality though? Well, everyone's entitled to their opinion but the fact is the term is applied widely to describe the communication based, usable online environ that we know today.
Let's look at today's communication, data sharing, interoperability and associations - all of these can be implemented online. The great age of Web 2.0, if you care to call it that, saw the progression of internet based communities, hosting services and web applications. The progress has been rapid. Ever since its inception, post-2000, the popularity of networking sites, media-sharing, wikis and blogs has risen.
It is said that IT doyenne and author Darcy DiNucci referenced Web 2.0 first in her article Fractured Future. DiNucci described the internet as we then knew it as in an embryonic state. She predicted it would evolve from static screens to an enviroment more like a 'transport mechanism'. DiNucci envisioned that the web would spread and evolve into something more accessible and user friendly through television sets and mobile phones. Of course what she predicted has come true. She even jokingly suggested that the microwave of the future might be web connective. We're yet to see that happen but it can't be ruled out when you consider technological capabilties. It's no doubt achievable, but is it needed?
The distinguishing features of Web 2.0 are these:
- Improved searching - earching is now easier because of the keyword.
- Valuable link building - one relevant site links to another - outgoing and incoming.
- Ad-hoc guidebooks, information , publishing and authoring - the creation and constant updating of content via a platform that displays rapid evolution - information is in a perpetual state of expansion.
- Tags - simple, single-word user-defined used to facilitate efficient searching. Tags help eliminate pre-assumed categories and make searching far more defined than ever before.
- Extensions - back in the day we had DOT COM. There are, these days, more and more extensions from which the webmaster can choose. Many of them bear relevance to the actual physical address of a business, for instance, the .co.uk, .au or .de extension names which apply to the UK, Australia and Germany respectively.
- Algorithmic Power - Algorithms which leverage the web as an applicatory platform and a document server rather than just the latter.
- Signals - RSS technology lets users to access information about online content changes immediately.
Some of the significant points of Web 2.0:
- Allows for greater interactivity
- Provides improved navigability and usability
- Easy syndication
- Better interconnection
When you consider how the World Wide Web has progressed since its inception it would seem unfair to call Web 2.0 nothing but a buzzword.