What is Web 2.0?
In the early days of the web, building a website was a complicated process that required know-how and large file uploads. Only the tech-savvy had the skills and patience to do fancy things like updating their own websites or participating in forums. The rest of us were limited to visiting static websites where we could read information but not respond. We couldn’t add comments, follow updates, or easily share items we found useful. That was Web 1.0
Today, all that has changed. The Web has become participatory. With just a few clicks, we can leave comments on a site, share photos and videos, check in with our friends, or launch a site or a blog in minutes. This is Web 2.0. Here, we can read AND write/contribute.
The Characteristics of Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is about greater collaboration between the creators of content—be they individuals or businesses—and the audience for that content. Web 2.0 doesn’t stop at blogs, social networking platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, and video and photo sharing sites. It also includes RSS feeds and email forms so we can follow our favorite content, bookmarks so we can revisit, wikis so we can add our knowledge to the collective database, and mashups so we can curate content to suit our individual needs. With a few clicks, we can all become published bloggers, authors, book and film reviewers, journalists, filmmakers, and musicians. We can search and find information, and we can share our expertise and our opinions with the world.
The Uh Oh Factor
Despite the great tools for growing your businesses and connecting with your audience that Web 2.0 provides, all of this sharing and chatting can also stress us out. Uh oh! How can we embrace the collaborative spirit of Web 2.0 if we’re feeling confused, overwhelmed, paranoid, and unsafe? As we explain on our “About” page, the purpose of this blog is to help you answer that very question. Sign up for updates via the email form in the right-hand column or follow us via our RSS feed. (If you don’t know what RSS is, click here for a basic explanation.) And leave us your comments or questions below. Let us know what stresses you out the most about Web 2.0.
See Web 2.0 in Action
The video below is a visual explanation of Web 2.0 and its possibilities. Created by Dr. Michael Wesch at Kansas State University, the video itself is a testament to the participatory nature of Web 2.0. Dr. Wesch made the video in his basement and originally shared it with only ten colleagues. It has since been seen by over 1.7 million people and been translated into multiple languages.