What is Web 2.0?

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This has been a term that has been passed around since roughly 1999 but was based around speculation up until a web conference held by O-Reilly Media in 2004.  Web 2.0 is not about an upgrade of the World Wide Web in any way.  It is not about going from version 1.5.9 to version 2.0.  It is simply a philosophy that has emerged to help develop the web to meet the end users needs more effectively.

Back in time two major players emerged in a search or software battle.  This was a difference between Netscape and Google.  Netscape wanted to make search more of an application one would load on their computer and the user could come and search for what fancied them at the time, updates to this software and even how one would use it would come through the company as they sought fit.  Giving literally no opinion of improvements to come from the user’s who actually were using the software.   As an opposite to this tactic, Google introduced a Page Rank factor to their searches to help people find other more popular area’s or websites that would be closely related to what the user was searching for.  This same philosophy has helped Google excel in search today.  A parable to this is the latest headlines you may read about now is in regards to mobile phones.  IPod, while their phone has swept the country to help bring the web to its viewers basically anywhere has simply failed to see this philosophy that Google has tried and mastered not only in the search industry but also now through the Droid in the phone business.   App’s that can be downloaded through iPod while they are useful are still based in a world of control.  Sound familiar to the Matrix?  IPod apps are controlled through apple as to what is being released to the public.  This is a safe move but in the end could be robbing end users of possible apps that could be very useful.  While with Google they want app’s to not be so controlled as to what is produced or the quality to be released.  This in turn will have app’s being produced that otherwise may never become available and which will meet the end users needs!    The users will be helping to create and mold these apps to levels that would never be attained otherwise.

With this evolution of app’s as just a part of the pie, helping to expand web developers of all types to try and create an interactive search that betters’ users and businesses as a whole.  With billions of users’ world wide it was no accident that users would shape the way search is done.  It is not merely enough to produce a piece of software and try to force feed it down.   There is a required sense of engagement now to where you have to interact with your user and bring something to the table that is actually of use.  What Web 2.0 points to is that social media is now playing a big part in how blogs, video sharing and social networking can help contribute to the Web as much as it can consume.  So as stated in the beginning Web 2.0 is not an upgrade to the web by any means, but is in fact a growing evolution of how we the people interact with the Web.  I believe us to still be on just the beginning of even more creative and future changes to the Web.  It will have to adapt to the users in order to survive just as we must adapt to our environment I am sure Web 3.0 is just on the horizon.

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