One unique answer to the “Why did the chicken cross the road?” joke goes like
this:Colonel Sanders answered, “What?! Have I missed one?” ☺
Similarly, if you have not heard of Web 2.0 today, you are either a very new newbie or you have missed out a historical chapter in the life of the Internet. Not to worry, you can still brush up on your knowledge by going through this report. My purpose for writing is to get you focused on 2 currently hot aspects of Web 2.0: social networking and social bookmarking. I will touch on some other areas as well.
First of all, what is Web 2.0?
In short, Web 2.0 is a term often applied to a perceived ongoing transition of the World Wide Web from a collection of websites to a full-fledged computing platform serving web applications to end users. Ultimately Web 2.0 services are expected to replace desktop computing applications for many purposes. If this sounds a little nerdy, you can read the details for a full-blown account.
Truth be told, “Web 2.0” is nothing new. The label is quite a fresh spin to reflect a phenomenon that is ongoing and striving for full maturity. People may say, “There are 2 parts to the Internet: one before Web 2.0 and the other after it.” It just might as well be that “the 2 parts come before and after the creation of bulletin boards.”
That’s right. One of the key characteristics of Web 2.0 is participation, collaboration and moderation through the use of web applications. Web 2.0 sites derive their power from the human connections and network effects from this characteristic that is made possible, and grow in effectiveness the more people use them.
According to documented history, the idea of Web 2.0 was first conceptualized by Tim O’Reilly in a conference in 2004, but its greatest impact was already felt by ordinary people, in 2002 and in the form of social networking, with the advent of Friendster. Friendster’s neat and simple interface gives users easy control and immediate power in self-expression (publish content, set preferences, promote personal profile and interests etc.) and managing a portfolio of inter-connected, like-minded individuals so they can feel like being a part of a community that accepts them instead of loneliness. As they get connected with more online friends, they can only be encouraged to send out messages to their personal friends (the closer, intimate ones) on their own initiative, inviting them to join Friendster and expand a new-found friendship network virtually. The repeated process snowballs the numbers.
Then what happens? When other wannabes like what they see, they began
thinking, “Let’s set up our own social networking site too!” and jump on the bandwagon. Some make it, some won’t; some smartly look at this Web 2.0 coin from the other face and made money secretly by coming up with easy-to-install Web 2.0 scripts to sell (that’s like making it rich by selling jeans and shovels during the Gold Rush).