Web 2.0

Web 2.0

By Steven Anderson, Luke Becker, Vibhore Bhatnagar, Eric Johnson, and JR Kim


    Ask someone what Web 2.0 is and you will most likely get many different answers depending on each person. This is mostly because Web 2.0 covers a broad area of topics, but overall it is used to describe the transition from static pages of the World Wide Web to a more user-interactive Web that uses new technologies and applications to collaborate information. The term Web 2.0 had a spike in popularity after the O’Reilly Media and MediaLive Web 2.0 conference in 2004, now millions of people everyday use sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many others to share ideas, thoughts, photos and other media. But what makes these different from a Web 1.0 site? For web 1.0 the web pages were static and the content was not user generated. Web 2.0 allowed users to interact with each other as well as the content of the web pages. The next few sections in this chapter will include much more about the concepts including:
  • Characteristics
  • Technologies
  • Usage


    According to Wikipedia, the key characteristics of Web 2.0 include:
  • Folksonomy : Free Classification of Information
  • Rich User Experience
  • User as a Contributor
  • Long Tail
  • Basic Trust
  • Dispersion

    With Web 2.0, users can collaboratively manage and tag photos, journals and other media. As more users do this it create a system of classification for the media and information.

Rich User Experience

    Say goodbye to still and boring images on webpages, sites now use Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) which have many similar characteristics of a desktop application. RIA applications are what help us interact with applications on the Web without actually downloading the application. According to TechTarget the definition of RIA is, “Web-based applications that run in a Web browser and do not require software installation, but still have the features and functionality of traditional desktop applications.” To actually use a RIA on a website the user must first install the plug-in that the RIA requires. The three most common plug-ins are Adobe Flash, JavaFX, and Microsoft Silverlight. If you have one of these installed often times you just need to keep them up to date in order to view most RIAs. These plugin based frameworks are on the verge of being replaced by HTML5/Javascript based alternatives. This will make it much more universal so that the user doesn’t have to have more than one plug-in installed on their computer.

User as a Contributor

    All users have the free will to contribute to the site which makes many Web 2.0 pages public. With sites such as Wikipedia, anyone is open to the editing of articles. Information is provided two-way instead of solely from the site owner.

Long Tail

    Most retail sites traditionally sold directly to the user, but now sites are able to offer services as well in which users can subscribe monthly or pay a fee every so often. An example of this would be Netflix.

Basic Trust

    With anyone able to contribute to a Web 2.0 site, there are many benefits, but also downsides to this idea. One of the benefits is that users are able to give productive information to certain websites. While it is beneficial that anyone can contribute to a site, it gives a greater opportunity for spam and unwanted information for example, on Wikipedia users can submit faulty information.


    Consistent output of worthy content is important now that search engines rank pages based on relevance of written words, quality of links, bookmarked pages, and popular topics.


    Client-side (user) technologies of Web 2.0 are Asynchronous JavaScript, XML (Ajax) and JavaScript/Ajax frameworks. These technologies make things able such as the uploading and downloading of new information on a page without having to reload. On the server side, most of the technologies are the same as used in Web 1.0 but what contrasts them is communication. In Web 2.0 sites communicate and share much more information with each other which betters the relevance of links and information while browsing online.

    SOA(Service Oriented Architecture) is the architecture behind feeds, RSS, Web services and mash-ups. Service Oriented Architecture is all about how Web 2.0 applications expose their functionality so that other applications can leverage and integrate the functionality providing a much richer set of applications. It could also be described as applications helping applications. They are using each other to help build a better internet. Mash-ups are the perfect example of this in action, mash-ups are where two or more internet applications combine to make a new application using some of the good things from each.


    The Social Web part of Web 2.0 is how these applications are designed to help support and foster social interaction. It is all of the social websites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. It is how businesses are reaching out to their customers on the web and how they are selling their products. People can now share any idea that they want through the web through blogs. You could learn what Web 2.0 is from people sharing ideas on the internet than actually reading it in this textbook. Users can interact with people all around the world using video chat. The influence held by the social web is large and ever changing and it is changing the way we as society operate and learn.

Works Cited

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