INF506 – Mod 1.1 – What is Web 2.0?

Module 1.1 – What is Web 2.0?

Based on your reading and viewing of these definitions, try to summarise in your own words what you think Web 2.0 is. 

Web 2.0 is all about likening the web to everyday human life and social interaction. Users play an active participative role in Web 2.0; users are responsible for aiding and enhancing the development of it; and users help control the direction and flow of information.

Web 2.0 helps bridge even further the distance (or now lack of distance) between humans and the digital world and makes the interaction between the two much more seamless and difficult to avoid in daily life.

Web 2.0 is also about an attitude that the web is a living breathing thing that every user can help rear, rather than a static thing to be viewed from before a glass partition.  This attitude of owning a part of Web 2.0 is what brings people back day after day to help contribute to it through blogs, tagging, video and photo uploading, wikis, comment boxes, podcasts and vodcasts, and many more.


Readings Summaries:


Explaining Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is about making new and improved forms on online connections.

This can be between two or more people, two or more services, or between individual users and software applications.

3 Key Aspects of Web 2.0:

·      Interpersonal computing

·      Web Services

·      Software as a service

Interpersonal Computing is about using online technology to connect people to each other in social networks or teams. Eg. Social networking sites, wikis, blogs and online video. People can add as well as access content, and to comment.

Web Services are components of online functionality that can be plugged together in order to create an integrated online offering. Eg. Websites might use PayPal to allow payments online, or Google maps might be included on a webpage. Youtube can be embedded on any website.

This means two companies are automatically linked for the benefit of customers by the internet.

Software as a Service involved application functionality being offered directly over the internet, in turn user data and applications can be accessed by any internet enabled device. Eg. Google Docs allows online word processing accessed anywhere.



What is Web 2.0by Tim O’Reilly 09/30/2005

(FYI The term web 2.0 was coined by Tim O’Reilly in 1999 but was popularised in 2002/2004)

 “The Web 2.0 lesson: leverage customer-self service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head.”

Web 2.0 is about harnessing collective intelligence. (ß This should be utilised more in libraries!). Eg. Wikipedia uses trust in its users to add and edit entries. Flickr and Delicious use user tagging to create a folksonomy. Viral marketing is the most successful marketing, coming from collective intelligence and spreading of an idea. Web 2.0 relies on peer-production methods of open source intelligence. It also relies on blogging and wisdom of crowds – “The former audience” now decides what is important.

The lesson: Network effects from user contributions are the key to market dominance in the Web 2.0 era.”

Web 2.0:

  • Has constantly updating software, instead of update cycles.
  • Allows hackable and remixable programming, and services not packaged software.
  • Makes software multi device capable.
  • Makes it a rich user experience.



Web 2.0

Web 2.0 uses technology that isn’t static like it was in web 1.0.

Web 2.0 sites allow users to interact and collaborate with the web and each other, and promotes user-generated content.

A Web 1.0 example was Netscape which created software, updated it occasionally, and gave it out to users. Web 2.0 is more about focusing on providing a service and exploiting user-generated content.

A memorable moment in Web 2.0 history is when Time magazine named it’s 2006 person of the year as “You.” (i.e. the bloggers, journalists, and contributors to the internet).

Wikipedia states the following 8 features of Web 2.0:

1.     Folksonomy; free classification of information

2.     A rich user experience – pages are dynamic and respond to user input by design.

3.     A user as a contributor – information flows two ways between site owner and site user by means of evaluation, review and commenting.

4.     Long tail – profit is realized through monthly service subscriptions more than one-time purchases of goods over the network.

5.     User participation – site users add content for others to see.

6.     Basic trust – contributions are available for the world to use, reuse, or re-purpose.

7.     Dispersion – digital resources and services are sought more than physical goods.

8.     Mass participation

Web 2.0 sites include a search function, links, authoring capable, tags, extensions (eg adobe reader, flash), and signals (eg. RSS feed).

Web 2.0 has entered the education sphere, blogs, wikis, podcasts, video…

It is also responsible for the new form of bullying – cyberbullying.


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