Thursday, May 10, 2007

What the heck is Web 2.0?

You may be wondering what Web 2.0 is and how it differs from Web 1.0. Recently I took a class on Web 2.0 to learn more about its capabilities. In the past, when the web was referred to as an "information superhighway," it was describing Web 1.0. The web used to be a place where you went to get information. "Professionals" provided the data that went on the web. Now, everything has changed. Web 2.0 applications are sites where you, a common person, can get information but you can also leave information. There are often social networks associated with Web 2.0 applications. For example, there are numerous photo sharing websites that are currently Web 1.0. Snapfish, my favorite, is one such website. Sure, you can make some really cool projects - we made photo "memory" books for our moms for Mother's day but the site isn't particularly interactive. I can share my photos but the people I send the photos to cannot comment on them.

Enter a totally different way of doing things, Flickr. Flickr is also a photo sharing website. The difference is that Flickr is interactive. People can comment on your photos and they can look at all the photos that you have uploaded. People can also search the entire site to find particular photos. Flickr has groups (public or private) where photos can be pooled and discussed on discussion boards.

There are many other examples of Web 2.0 including RSS, wikis, blogs, virtual communities, podcasting / Vcasting, internet social networking, and video sharing. Web 2.0 is about collaboration. So if you want to jump on the Web 2.0 bandwagon, get collaborating!

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