What is Web 2.0? This is the question many are asking. So let’s answer it.
Web 2.0 concerns four different paradigms converging:
1. Community. This is the most obvious one. Community is basically interaction between members, between websites, and between the website admins and its members. The best example is Wikipedia: no one claims copyright control over it, and so we are breaking the traditional authorship rights. When we contribute to Wikipedia, anyone can read our contribution, anyone can copy it, anyone can edit, and dang it, anyone can delete it. This is very new.
The other new thing is voting. Now we have popularity contests of our contributions. Digg.com becoming the ultimate voting system. If you think hard, you can also convince yourself that, Google’s PageRank system is essentially an algorithm that measures social popularity (link = vote).
2. Technology. XML, AJAX, RSS, APIs and other BLAH! I’m not going to bore you with the in depth technology. However, take this away. The technologies mentioned above and more importantly, allow a standard agreed method for websites, blogs, My Space, YouTube to work. This, in my opinion is the biggest “technological” breakthrough.
3. Architecture. This is best described by the Cluetrain Manifesto as:
The Web has become the new corporate infrastructure, in the form of intranets, turning massive corporate hierarchical systems into collections of many small pieces loosely joining themselves unpredictably.
4. Look. Every movement has a look: the 80s, 90s and now Web 2.0. Long gone are square boxes with plain boring color. No man, bring on bright, vibrant colours. Give me some jive. Don’t be square. Lively and fresh is what we are. Why be something else? And yes, white space is the new “black”
So this is Web 2.0 in a nutshell. Web 2.5 is in beta now and will be released shortly.