Web 2.0, What is it?

By Ian Fernando

The first Internet Reality show is very intriguing, that I decided to write an article about Web 2.0. What is web 2.0? Is it changing the internet? Is it changing the way we will be marketing? Will it change the way we earn money on the net? Joel Comms' Internet Millionaire Reality show, is bringing Web 2.0 to its best!

Now, however, the internet is changing. Whereas before you might look up information on a new album or film, the explosion in popularity of digital downloading for these very same media formats mean that the information is in physical form as opposed to someone just writing about it. Social networking is the new buzzword ? from MySpace to Facebook and beyond, the internet is the place to catch up with old friends, let everyone know what you're doing, share your music with a potential audience of billions ? the potential is endless. And this is where the new Web 2.0 comes in.

More an evolution than revolution, Web 2.0 is not being touted as a complete replacement for the existing internet features; it's more an extensive upgrade. Allowing users to communicate better with each other, Web 2.0 is seen as the next logical step in the internet, and allows far more user participation than just looking at web pages. Now you can link all your social network sites like Facebook and MySpace, and use them to promote your own music, ideas or products.

One of the most promising developments of the Web 2.0 change will be the way people work. The change will be subtle at first, and then more robust soon afterward. One example that people have already been using has not been classified under the Web 2.0 model but is nevertheless included ; internet based email. Yahoo! says theirs is best. MSN started with hotmail. Google joined in with their G-mail. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Soon, when a person wants to open up something similar to a Word or Excel document, they will not open up a program on their computer. As Web 2.0 unfolds, a person will open up a website, and start their work there, and save it. It will be opened, worked, and saved 100 % online. It becomes immediately available to all on the "network". The "network" will of course be the world wide web.

Web 2.0 puts the power in the hands of the people using the service. Web 2.0 is based on and encourages user participation & collaboration in a way that increases that value & quality of the web-based service that they are contributing toSince Web 2.0 lacks a well defined set of standards there is still much debate as to what exactly constitutes Web 2.0. Many websites had many of the Web 2.0 features and functionality many years before ?Web 2.0? was coined. These were features such as user reviews and the ability for web developers to communicate and modify the functionality of a website so that it better interfaced with their own applications and Websites. Even though the term Web 2.0 still has a loose definition, there are some common features.

While being one of Web 2.0?s darlings because of its open-source success, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.org also receives criticism for the very same reasons. It?s the handiest of resources and has skyrocketed in popularity. What?s more, users repeatedly return to the site once they?ve used it, an impressive quality. It?s in the top 25 most heavily trafficked sites--not bad at all for a site that doesn?t advertise. Kind of like another free website whose popularity is not reflected in visible advertising: Google.

Wikipedia?s services are free. Its content is also wholly submitted by web-users. However, in being constructed by amateurs, Wikipedia is thus susceptible to the foibles of amateur contribution. Recently Wikipedia falsely identified a Tennessean as being linked to both of the Kennedy assassinations, a joke perpetrated by a co-worker. The open-ended format leaves such shenanigans possible.

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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