The Idea Dude


Friday, July 20, 2007

What is Web 2.0 really?

By the time Web 3.0 comes around, we will still be debating what is Web 2.0. Ask anyone who is remotely related to the term and you'll hear that it's a social network (an overused cliche by now) to bold flat icons and rounded corners in the user interface, blogs and so on.

So it's interesting to read what O'Reilly said 2 years ago. Before anyone cries foul, keep in mind 2 years on the Internet is almost an eternity and by in large much of what they say are still valid. The question is whether they are observing the 'symptom' or the 'disease'.

What I did take away was what I consider the best definition of web 2.0 which isn't the UI or social network (if you have one friend, does that make you social network? Maybe then my cellphone makes the grade.) Here it is...

You have a Web 2.0 application if the core of what your business and environment is architected for participation. When that is your brand and your culture, the rest follows naturally, your business model, your user interface, you value proposition. Participation implies mass contribution, sharing and tagging, a many to many paradigm. You become the facilitator of activity rather than the producer of content.

Feature priority and design should start and end with the question. "Where is the participation?"

So that's my insight for the day. Web 2.0 - an Architecture for Participation.


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