What is Web 2.0?

02 May 2008


I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve been a little behind the curve when it comes to the whole dotcom thing. I wasn’t the first on the facebook bandwagon, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept of digg and others like it. But with the emergence of more and more blogs, wikis, and social networks, it’s impossible to escape this new Web 2.0 society.

But what, exactly, is Web 2.0? Some argue that it’s a marketing buzzword coined by the industry while others disagree. Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media and the man attributed with coining the term Web 2.0, describes it as “the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as platform, and the attempt to understand the rules for success on that platform.”

In layman’s terms, Web 2.0 encourages users to collaborate creatively and share everything from ideas to information. It’s not actually that the technology of the web has changed; rather we are learning to use it in a more social and mutually beneficial way. That’s why blogs run rampant on the web, and if you’re not involved in some sort of online social network, you obviously live in the Stone Age.

Terms like search engine optimizing, tagging, wikis, and the like are important to know in order to grasp a full understanding of the new and improved World Wide Web. Familiarizing yourself with these terms will help you use the web to your full advantage whether your goal is to generate more hits to your website or simply blog your heart out.

For a full explanation of Tim O’Reilly’s take on Web 2.0, click here.

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