In the year and a half since,
the term "Web 2.0" has clearly taken hold, with more
than 9.5 million citations in Google. But there's still a huge
amount of confusion about just what Web 2.0 means, with some
people decrying it as a marketing buzzword, and others accepting
it as the new conventional wisdom.
What it is, in fact, is a way of talking about a major
shift in the way we use and define the web. It marks the
passing of the 1st phase of the internet where everyone rushed
out to get pictures and text out on the web with the dream
of rapid wealth, and ushers in the age of online software
applications that go well beyond the scope of simply displaying
information and taking orders.
Web 2.0 is about participation,
communication, rapid change and deployment of information.
In the Web 1.0 we
displayed our information by hiring web developers to post
information and multimedia content on our websites.
In Web 2.0 things are being
done very differently. The web developer creates tools that
allow us to post our own content 24 hours a day, easily, and
without knowing anything about computer and web codes. We
can author encyclopedia entries with Wikis and create daily
personal messages or journals with Blogs. We can stream live
video with incredible quality and little or no load time.
Any person in a company can
update the content on the web that their department is responsible
for without ever contacting a webmaster.
Web 2.0 easily merges internet
Your website has
a version always available to the world at large, and areas
of the site accessible through logins that can display planning,
events calendars, project progress and any other material
desired that is not for public view. Multileveled tiers of
access permission can be created.
Web 2.0 takes software above
the level of a single device.
A movement has already
begun to sell software as a subscription for use on a yearly
basis, and have its code exist on the web server instead of
your PC. This has several advantages. So long as you have
the log in information, you can use your copy of the software
from any machine in the world. You will no longer have to
download things every time the software is updated. Though
the long term price will probably remain about the same, the
initial outlay will be smaller. And, as the companies will
no longer need to create disks, packaging or pay for shipping
of the items, they may indeed drop prices to the consumer.
As an example you can do your taxes with the online version
of Tax Cut this year for $9.95, with e-filing included. You
install nothing on your machine.
Web 2.0 and RSS lets you
subscribe to information instead of search for it.
This is being called
as the largest change in the web in the last decade. When
you go many pages on the web you see symbols that stand for
Web Feed. The most popular definition of RSS is
Really Simple Syndication
On pages that change frequently,
like news, stock prices, or the new products page of a website,
you can easily have a notice of the changes come to you within
minutes of the updates. It seems like an email, but is not.
It is a feed coming into a module in your web browser or e-mail
client that only brings in information you have subscribed
to and there is no email server involved. It is actually just
linking you to the new information, and has the ability to
display it in a window. An author can distribute notice of
new content to the entire world in a few minutes, and there
is never ANY spam.
One simple use of RSS that
is becoming very popular is to receive notice from Google
EVERY TIME anyone mentions you or your company on the web.
If someone praises or slanders you, or your products online,
you will know in time to thank them or contest the posting
the day, or even within the hour that it occurs.
hough there is much more to say about the new way of using
and viewing the web, these things seem certain.
It is all about getting and distributing more and better information
faster and easier, and removing the time and expense of having
the webmaster in the middle of every update.
Your custom Yahoo and Google start pages, Wikipedia and the
big bloggers such as MySpace and Blogger.com all profited
from getting there first. Now everything they do and offer
can be incorporated into your website and used for your purposes.
IBM, Microsoft, Adobe and others are all devoting massive
amounts of energy to become the ones to first present systems
to manage information on the web in accordance with the advent
of Web 2.0. They have seen the light and are racing toward
Designing a website for Web 2.0 may cost a little more in
the beginning but quickly becomes far less expensive due to
the lack of fees coming from the webmaster, and lost profit
from displaying outdated information. Change is instant instead
of slow, which can make the difference between success and
failure in our rapidly changing business environment.
© Richard Dutton 2007