In response to Tim O’Reilly’s article on Web 2.0, I would like to first clarify the meaning of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.
That is: Web 2.0 is not an actual “upgrade” of Web 1.0, rather, Web 2.0 is more of a new concept of the web that is replacing the old one.
Throughout O’Reilly’s article he tries to focus on this point. He even states “This article is an attempt to clarify just what we mean by Web 2.0.” To not know this central question is like steering a ship without having any idea of where you’re going.
That being said, let’s begin the review of his first main points. Designating something as Web 2.0 isn’t exactly an easy task. In fact, some of the things that he lists as Web 2.0 aren’t even websites! Some of the key features that help distinguish Web 2.0 services would be their “perpetual beta” qualities and abilities to serve the masses, not just the biggest cites on the net. For example, in the article, the author mentions Google and Netscape. Netscape and Google, while both being software companies, have different goals in mind in regards to who they wish to service. Netscape, being part of the Net 1.0 group, wishes to push its server sales by using its power in the browser market, where on the other hand, Google, tries to focus on providing a service to the masses managing the data and content of the net.
There are other numerous examples similar to the one just mentioned, where the Web 1.0 service increasingly focuses on the “head” of the internet (the big companies) rather than the “long tail” (the rest of the internet). This inadvertently leads to the remarkable acceptance and success of the Web 2.0 applications increasing their domination of the web ever so. P2P downloading is a rather good example of how this decentralization of the “head” to the “tail” increases growth and user activity on the web.
Another main point Reilly made was that internet 2.0 was more about information gathering through different methods. Whether its through hyper-linking or encouraging user participation, Web 2.0 applications simply trump the Web 1.0 applications in the information gathering and supplying sector. To sum it up, whether through tagging or other community based actions like viral advertising, Web 2.0 apps rely predominantly on user based activity, in contrast to the Web 2.0 sites preference to publishers, advertisers, and other major players in the internet world, to get their message or product to the consumer.
In other words:
Web 1.0 = Rigid Framework With Limited User Influence
Web 2.0 = Flexible Framework Relying On the User’s Input
Sites that we often use in class are also a topic mentioned within the article, as Flickr and blogging sites like WordPress show just how flexible and user reliant Web 2.o applications are. Flickr allows users to upload and share their photos with people from all around the world, while WordPress allows users to be brought together in ways that traditional publishing and ways of posting can not. From Reilly’s article, one can see that successful Web 2.0 applications seem to take heed of user based amplification of their software, adding a competitive edge to their products and services. Again, accessiblity to information, whether its source code or photos, all help (at least some of )Web 2.0 type applications perform their function better by enhancing user feedback and utilizing their knowledge to the fullest to develop their app.
It is also important to note that the Web 2.0 software is not necessarily “on the web.” Integration of the web’s ability to span different platforms and systems is what makes certain software ,like Apple’s iTunes, a great example of Web 2.0. Web applets that can transcend different systems are also good examples of this as well.
So, in review of all this information, we can conclude that Web 2.0 exceeds Web 1.0 in a number of aspects. The most important feature that marks Web 2.0 as a critical update for the web, is that it focuses more on the user and the user’s need regardless of the platform.
Thanks for reading this incredibly long review, I hope you liked it!
Oh, and as always, if I am missing something, just drop me a line in the comment box below.