Web 2.0 Characteristics
While Web 2.0 is one of the most promising technological advances that will occur on the Internet, there is a lot of confusion that surrounds it. While you may think this confusion is limited to laypersons, this is not the case.
Many Web 2.0 experts are confused about the nature of this new technology. While various experts will have their own opinions of the system, these opinions can be broken down into two categories, and they are
• those who believe that there is no difference between Web 2.0 and 1.0, and
• those who believe that Web 2.0 is distinct and revolutionary.
Personally, I would have to agree with the experts who believe that Web 2.0 is different. While I have a lot of respect for Tim Berners Lee, there are a number of reasons I feel this way. First, Web 2.0 has a number of characteristics which differentiate it from Web 1.0. To understand these characteristics, all you have to do is think back to 1995, when the Internet became popular among the general public. At this time, the web was basically composed of text and images, and it was coded in HTML. There was no RSS or XML, and blogs did not yet exist in the way that they do today. In addition to this, online games and video sharing sites like YouTube were yet to be created. While many could see the potential of the net, it was not the Internet that we see today.
Now, lets fast forward to 2007. The Internet has become a huge social phenomenon, and people use the web differently now than they did in 1995. First, more people use the web. Second, the adoption of high speed Internet access is now available to more people than it was in 1995. Many people who feel that Web 2.0 is no different than Web 1.0 are looking at things in a purely technological perspective. Because they see no major technical advances to the structure of the Internet, they feel there is no difference between Web 2.0 and 1.0. However, those that feel that Web 2.0 is unique are those who look at things from a usage perspective. They are looking at the uses for the Internet today versus those in the 1990s.
When you look at it from that perspective, it is easy to see the differences. The rapid adoption of video sharing sites has now created a world in which anyone can share videos with others. Social networking sites such as MySpace have allowed people to communicate even more. The introduction of blogs has allowed anyone to publish their thoughts and opinions for millions of people to view, often free of charge. It is advances like these that have made the Internet different today than it was in the past. Lately, the term Web 2.0 has become a popular term, and there are a number of questions that people have about it.
When people first hear of Web 2.0, many of them wonder if it is purely a consumer driven phenomenon. They may also wander if there are any technological factors that separate Web 2.0 from Web 1.0. Many companies and business owners also wander about the business aspects of this new paradigm shift. To understand these things, it is first important to get a true definition of what Web 2.0 is. In a nutshell, Web 2.0 is the evolution of the Internet as we know it today. In addition to usage being revolutionized, certain technological aspects are being revolutionized as well. When people look at Web 2.0 from a consumer stand point, they often become confused.
While there can be little doubt that Web 2.0 has become successful because of websites like YouTube or MySpace, social networking is just one of the many characteristics of this new system. It should also be noted that experts are not sure how social networking can have an effect on Information Technology in a way that is truly fundamental. Many experts have also said that participation architecture plays an important role in the development of Web 2.0. One site which fully illustrates this better than many is YouTube. It must be emphasized that the goal of IT is to generate the interaction and integration of both systems and humans.