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Web 2.0… Explained.

What does Web 2.0 mean?

Web 2.0 sounds new… The phrase refers to a new way of approaching web design and its technologies.

Coined by Tim O’Reilly when he said:

Web 2.0 is the business revolution in computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform.

Although the Web 2.0 technologies are nothing new as they have existed since the internet developed and it’s foundations were established.

Tim Berners-Lee (Founder of the internet) says:

I think Web 2.0 is, of course, a piece of jargon…

I think he is referring to the fact it has no real solid definition. It means different things to different people. To me it is more a notion than a specific thing.


A technique often associated with Web 2.0 is AJAX. No not the cleaning fluid or football team (For us geeks it is: asynchronous JavaScript and XML).

AJAX is a method of a webpage to use JavaScript to load without a page being refreshed/reloaded. It can load pages/responses into elements in a page. There are some smart programs utilizing such methods. In page editing is a good example. If you use Gmail/Google mail, or Google Maps, they use AJAX to load data without page refreshes.

Not a new thing though AJAX, the technology has always been there, but as web developers got hold of it and used it to better the internet as a platform AJAX is born…

In a nutshell

Web 2.0 in a nutshell is about participation. About the internet growing to be a multi faceted content rich environment. Old websites are notorious for being bland static and clunky. Web 2.0 is a phrase coined to suggest the Internet has grown into it’s new version, one of dynamicism and user freedom.

characteristics of Web 2.0 are: rich user experience, user participation, dynamic content, metadata, web standards and scalability. Further characteristics, such as openness, freedom and collective intelligence by way of user participation, can also be viewed as essential attributes of Web 2.0.

The above quote contains the essential considerations I have when approach web design. I do not view it as Web 2.0 to be honest. I am in Tim’s corner, it is jargon. I see what people refer to as Web 2.0 as being the most contemporary way of doing things. The Internet has grown and developed thanks to many people. It is the striving for the bettering of what exists that produces phrases like Web 2.0.

More than likely you have seen examples of “Web 2.0” (Should be written in quotes if you ask me;·), they will impress you if done well, or subconsciously be “right”.

Let me know some of your favourite “Web 2.0” sites.

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