While the term “Web 2.0” has been around for three years, most people have no idea what it really means. One example of this confusion is demonstrated by the Web 2.0 Generator, which pokes fun at the clichéd design elements usually associated with (and often mistaken for) Web 2.0.
Tim O’Reilly originally coined the term in 2004 (I was going to phrase it that way even before I checked the Wikipedia entry) and has since clarified his definition by saying:
“Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them.”
O’Reilly’s definition may still be a little hard for some to understand. Much like the video below, I’ll preface his statement by saying that the very basis for Web 2.0 is the separation of information and presentation.
For a better understanding of what Web 2.0 is all about, check out this video by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. At the risk of sounding like a bad email forward, I suggest you turn on/up your speakers/headphones, as the soundtrack is fitting. If you find yourself even a little emotional any time while watching, you are a geek, and I salute you.
An on the topic of Web 2.0, check out the new Yahoo! Pipes.