Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What is Web 2.0?

For many days I have been scouting around trying to figure out what Web 2.0 was all about. I was barely getting my bearings in place, when my VP once mentioned about Enterprise 2.0. At first, I had a perplexed look on my face and thought to myself, not again. I barely understood one of them (Web 2.0) and then the other (Enterprise 2.0) pops up. Since then I got into many discussions with some folks at IBM, friends, colleagues and every time I find myself discussing but not being able to give a clear difference or define the two of them i.e. Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0. It was then I decided to do a small research and find out what these terms really meant. First we will take a look at what is Web 2.0 and then in my next post we will look closely at Enterprise 2.0. Here we go...

What is Web 2.0 and what is isn't, a simple definition?

Web 2.0 isn't a thing... i.e. either a Framework, Technology, Product, Tool, Library, API, Module etc. It's a state of mind. It is a method by which we leverage existing technologies in new and innovative ways, linking people together by sharing, trading and collaborating.

Some highlights:

1. Term invented by Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty and standards mostly held by Google.

2. A method by which we use existing technologies in new and innovative ways and bring the Desktop experience in a web browser.

3. Change in the way people view the web.

4. SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) - Feed, Syndication (RSS, ATOM ), Web Services, Mashups.

5. Social web -Interact with the end user, End user is not only a ‘user’ but also a ‘participant’ involved in Tagging, Wiki, Podcasts, Blogging etc.

The RSS Image:

Web 2.0, a graphical representation:

Image Source:

Note that I added XAML, Moonlight and Silverlight

Web 2.0, a Visualization
Now, seeing the above diagram (which I ripped off the web), it looks to me as if the Web 2.0 was everything what the ‘WEB’ dealt with. I again started scratching my head in despair, trying to figure out its technical scope. I did some more searching trying to get a picture of it technically and what it meant to business. My search directed me to a nicely put, techy and business driven ‘Visualization’ from Hinchcliffe’s Web 2.0 blog. This made a lot of sense to me as an engineer. Here it is.

You could visit his blog for more information.

Web 1.0 Vs Web 2.0
By now, did you ever wonder, was there ever something called as the Web 1.0. The answer is ‘yes’ indeed the term existed but it was not widely spoken about. I then, tried to put my thoughts in a table distinguishing Web 1.0 and the Web 2.0. Based on the research on the internet and this is what I came up with. Please note that some of the comparisons you might not agree with (or) are confused with (or) you do not understand. You can ignore them since I too share the same and have arranged it in the order it makes sense to me. You could look up and for the list and some discussions around this.

Web 1.0 was about

Web 2.0 is about

Push Business models

Pull Business models

Customer Service

Customer self Service





Home pages


Screen scraping

APIs/Web Services

Web forms

Web applications

Centralized product development

Decentralized product development

1-on-1 customer relationships

Customer community relationships



Directories (taxonomy)

Tagging ("folksonomy")

Double Click

Google AdSense





Britannica Online


Content Management Systems


Page Views

Cost Per Click



Domain name speculation

SEO (Search engine optimization)






Trade sales





Hardware costs

Bandwidth costs



Evite and EVDB

Well, so I hope by now we at least have some idea about Web 2.0 and its scope. If we look up the internet, we come across many other resources which could get a complicated, but I think this is enough to start with.

However, this post does not end here. I am still researching and working with Web 2.0, so look out for some good stuff… coming soon….



rkk said...

I can now 'feel' the Web 2.0. Thanks for making my it easier for me.

thaniks said...

Hi Naveen,

Even i am also very much confused about web 2.0.Now i got a Crystal clear idea about Web 2.0.
Thanks a ton.Keep Posting good stuffs...........All the best.