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Web 2.0 – Latest Wave of the Internet

Over the past few years, the Internet has evolved and with it came profound changes. Before, people visiting the Internet were spoon fed, now they have the ability to change information they receive and are able to share information through different platforms made available.

Visitors are now given the great power to alter information and comment or discuss topics of interest, however, with great power comes great responsibility!

You witnessed, were a victim of or have at least heard about the bursting of the dot com bubble in the fall of 2001. Fortunes that had been made overnight were lost overnight.

The sky was falling. It was a very scary time for a lot of people. Some said that the World Wide Web was just a flash-in-the-pan idea that had been over-hyped and that the crash was irrefutable proof of that fact.

There were, however, some survivors of the 2001 dot com bust. The survivors had a few important commonalities and there were those who insisted that the World Wide Web was more important than ever and had a very bright future indeed.

One of those who saw the results of the 2001 dot com bust as a ‘glass half full’ rather than a ‘glass half empty’ was a man by the name of Tim O’Reilly. O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media met with Dale Dougherty of Media Live International in 2004. Out of that meeting the term ‘Web 2.0’ was born.

The definition that Tim O’Reilly gives for Web 2.0 is: “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.

Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them.”

Web 2.0 can be viewed as an upgrade to the World Wide Web. It is still on the web, but it is a new and improved version of the web.

Recent technologies such as blogs, social bookmarking, wikis, podcasts, and RSS feeds are just a few of the technologies that are helping to shape and direct Web 2.0.

The Web before the dot com crash is often referred to as Web 1.0 now but only since the coining of the term Web 2.0.

Some of the more obvious difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 are: Double Click replaced by Google AdSense, Britannica Online replaced by Wikipedia, Personal Web Pages replaced by Blogs, Content Management Systems replaced by Wikis and Directories replaced by Tagging.

These are only a very few of the differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 but they are the major ones.

You will notice, if you look carefully that the commonality of many of the differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is that Web 1.0 was driven and controlled by the ‘powers-that-be’ and Web 2.0 is driven by users.

That is a HUGE difference, as Web 2.0 is becoming more user friendly not to mention more profitable for the Average Joe. You might even call it a power shift of seismic proportions.

Websites that could be accessed on the Internet were built and controlled by only a few and were certainly not ‘interactive’ but today anybody with an idea, a few dollars and little know-how can build a Web 2.0 website that is completely interactive and turn it into a money-making enterprise if they
choose to.

The technology is there. It is easy to use. It is accessible and it is relatively cheap, some of it is even free.

Many websites that started out as static websites are now adding features like blogs and forums and propelling themselves into the future of Internet commerce. Those websites who continue to ignore these rapid changes are falling further behind and will soon die out.


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