O’Reilly Defines Web 2.0

It’s almost a shame that all the great new things happening on the web have been given the “Web 2.0″ moniker. It’s a buzzword, and some folks are so negative towards buzzwords that in turn they won’t take it seriously. But isn’t having a cheesy buzzword worth it to actually have a name we can call a complicated idea? I’m paraphrasing Paul Boag here, but consider the alternatives to calling AJAX by its own buzzwordy name.

Anyway, Tim O’Reilly tells us in this article what Web 2.0 really is. It goes beyond saying things like “a Web 2.0 site is developed in AJAX” or “a Web 2.0 site adheres to web standards.” He lists a series of principles that true Web 2.0 apps follow:

  1. The Web as a Platform
  2. Harnessing Collective Intelligence
  3. Data is the Next Intel Inside
  4. End of the Software Release Cycle
  5. Lightweight Programming Models
  6. Software Above the Level of a Single Device
  7. Rich User Experiences

For my current project, I have a great deal of interest in “Harnessing Collective Intelligence”, so this article was a great resource. That section started with discussing how hyperlinking was the foundation of the original web and then traces that straight through to blogging and the “Wisdom of Crowds” associated with it. Sites like Wikipedia and the “folksonomy” tagging used in del.icio.us and Flickr are also discussed. But the article goes beyond just this principle and is a great read.

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