The new age of the web has arrived. And it will not go unnoticed. Web 2.0 is radically changing the way that enterprises, managers, and professionals are using the internet for their own businesses, and the new challenges are universal and important. Here are ten tips to prepare everyone for the new era of the net.
Web 2.0 (otherwise known as the Internet 2.0), is neither specific software nor a registered brand, but instead stands for the web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. The term is normally associated with Dale Dougherty, vice-president of O’Reilly Media; it became official during the O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 Conference in 2004. The term itself refers to an attitude towards the sharing of information, and the cumulative changes of web usage. This revolutionary approach is based on the Web as a sort of platform. The problem that remains is the fact that neither Dale Dougherty nor Tim O’Reilly (the President of O’Reilly Media) has formulated a specific definition of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 represents the evolution of the World Wide Web, from a series of static sites to a global environment in which online software, multimedia applications, and large band connection offer a wider array of information and a tighter interaction between the users. In this scenario, the absence of a single definition has contributed to an international debate (which still exists) about the term Web 2.0. From the analyses of the statements ranging from Tim O’Reilly to Wikipedia and various posts, I believe that the characteristics of Web 2.0 can be summarized in the following ten tips to better understand the Web 2.0:
- The Web is a platform. We have gone from installable software on our PC, to software-services that are accessible online. All data and software is now available online.
- The Web is functionality. The Web aids in the transfer of information and services from websites.
- The Web is simple. It facilitates the access and usage of web services using user-friendly interfaces.
- The Web is light. The models of development, the processes, and the models of business become light. The lightness is associated with the ability to share of information and services with ease, and made possible through the implementation of intuitive modular elements.
- The Web is social. People create the Web, “populate the Web”, by socializing and gradually moving members from the physical world to the online world.
- The Web is flow. The users are seen as co-developers, while Web 2.0 remains in “perpetual beta”, where it remains at the beta development stage for an indefinite period of time.
- The Web is flexible. The software is on a more advanced level because it enables access to previously unavailable digital content. This idea is similar to the Long Tail concept, which focuses on the less popular content that couldn’t previously be accessed.
- The Web is mixable. The expansion of codes in order to modify web applications (like Google does with its Google Maps application) allows individuals who are not necessarily computer professionals to mix different applications in order to create new ones. Web 2.0 gets its power through this “mashup” capability.
- The Web is participatory. Web 2.0 has adopted a structure of participation that encourages users to enhance the application while they use it, instead of keeping it rigid and controlled.
- The Web is in our hands. Its increased organization and characterization of information emphasizes its user-friendly interaction through deep linking. Thanks to phenomena such as social tagging, information is always more and more easily available.