Define Web 2.0 (I Swear It is Interesting)

Lately, I’ve seen the term Web 2.0 a lot. Now I may be late to the party, but I’m not one to let something like this slide without figuring out exactly what it is and what it means.

Apparently, the term was first coined in ’99, but really started to gain traction in ’05 and is becoming quite common now (again… late to the party).

Basically, it’s not a specific program or application or piece of software. It’s a broad generalization about the state of the web today, which means what? INTERACTION!



palm pilot web 1.0 example
Palm Pilots are a great example of Web 1.0 [Photo courtesy of Chris Murphy (c)
See where I’m going with this? Tim O’Reilly has a handy breakdown of more comparisons here. Kinda fun to reminisce about “domain name speculation” and “content management systems.” *Yawn*

This is where it gets interesting:

In 1999 Darcy DiNucci wrote this (<—- Did you see that 1999!!!):

The Web we know now, which loads into a browser window in essentially static screenfuls, is only an embryo of the Web to come. The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear, and we are just starting to see how that embryo might develop. The Web will be understood not as screenfulls of text and graphics but as a transport mechanism, the ether through which interactivity happens. It will […] appear on your computer screen, […] on your TV set […] your car dashboard […] your cell phone […] hand-held game machines […] maybe even your microwave oven.

This woman was talking about GPS, iPhones, AppleTV and Nintendo DS at a time when I thought caller ID was freakin’ amazing. Good lord do I feel stupid.

Wikipedia has an incredibly thorough entry about web 2.0 here.

The short answer, though, is that Web 2.0 defined as interaction. The web is part of our lives now. It’s no longer a novelty and we no longer look at it. We are a part of it.

web 2.0 infographic
Photo courtesy of Felipe Ibáñez Guzmán (c)

Can you think of any more examples of Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0?

ex: Listserv vs. MailChimp or Constant Contact.

Read another post here.

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