Is Web 2.0 More Than Just A Buzzword?
A brief explanation of the meaning of Web 2.0 and what it can do for your business
The Internet is as bad as any profession for using acronyms and buzzwords that are meaningless to the average man in the street. Ajax, Really Simple Syndication, Wikis probably mean nothing to the average client. So what does Web 2.0 mean for business websites? This paper seeks to give a very brief overview of what Web 2.0 means and how it will affect web development.
Where did it come from? ¶
Web 2.0 was a term coined by O’Reilly Media and MediaLive International. What it really meant was that the web had moved on from its initial birth and had evolved into something new and more sophisticated.
Venture Capitalists are back ¶
For some venture capitalists this meant it was ok to allocate more funds to Internet businesses some of whom were beginning to show strong growth and profits. Whether justified or not Web 2.0 heralded a new optimism for the web with Google and Yahoo snapping up internet start ups with gusto.
But what does Web 2.0 actually mean? ¶
Web 2.0 is a shift in thinking about how the web is used. Historically websites were static information silos. Users visited sites to find out about a business, or service. Web 2.0 builds on this by allowing:
- The creation of websites that grow with usage. Sites like last.fm become more intelligent the more people use them. This leads to the idea of collective intelligence.
- The creation of websites that allow users to correct errors or inaccuracies. Wikipedia has been a strong success mainly because it is built and maintained by its users. If you see something that you think is incorrect you can correct it. If you feel something is missing you can add it.
- The creation of websites that allow the syndication of content. Flickr allows users to upload photos and then display them on their own website via a feed. del.icio.us allows users to save bookmarks and then display them on any browser anywhere.
What does this mean for business? ¶
Amid all the hot air Web 2.0 presents new opportunities for businesses to communicate with their employees and customers. Gathering information has never been easier. The challenge is to make sure that the information is relevant. Web 2.0 offers the possibility for users to correct and enhance websites, to syndicate content and to grow market intelligence through usage.
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