What is Web 2.0 really about?

Online, you hear the buzzword Web 2.0 all the time. But after speaking to friend today, I was reminded me that not everyone knows what Web 2.0 is, let alone heard the phrase “Web 2.0”.

My favourite definition, which came from Information Week last year, goes like this:

Web 2.0 is all the Web sites out there that get their value from the actions of users.


Flickr
is one of the greatest examples of a Web 2.0 site. Not because of anything technical like RSS feeds or Ajax interactivity, but because it brings a community of users that share photos together.

Del.icio.us is another superb Web 2.0 site. It uses a whole bunch of cool features like folksonomies and tag clouds to enhance the user experience. But without the millions of users, it would be useless.

And the uber-terrific last.fm isn’t Web 2.0 becuase of it’s clean design, gradients and pretty buttons. It’s because I can find great new music based on the tastes of other users.

Anyone can build a Web 2.0 site, as long as they don’t forget that it is the users, or the community, that makes it Web 2.0. For example, my new-favourite T-Shirt store Threadless, has a Web 2.0 site. They rely on their users not only to submit new T-Shirt designs, but to vote for said designs as well.

Long-standing websites like ebay can even be defined as Web 2.0, despite the fact that they have been around since the Web 1.0 days. Why? Because it has connected users together in a way that wasn’t possible before.

Interactivity, rich features and good web design only scratch the surface as to what Web 2.0 is all about.

The users are the key ingredient. The users are what make Web 2.0 really special.

One Response

  1. I have just had my first lastfm experience and it’s a love afair…

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