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Dustin LindenSmith

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Defining Web 2.0

This term Web 2.0 (Google | Wikipedia | Technorati) gets bandied about a lot these days, and even though I've been using several Web 2.0 services for awhile (LJ, Wikipedia, Gmail et al, del.icio.us, digg, etc.), I didn't really know what the heck they were talking about until recently.

Mark Glaser, of PBS.org's excellent MediaShift blog, just posted an entry about Defining Web 2.0.  It goes a fair way to clear things up, plus links to some other good articles on the topic. From his entry:

1. Generally refers to a second generation of services available on the World Wide Web that let people collaborate, and share information online (Source: Wikipedia ).
2. Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices (Source: Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Publishing, who runs the Web 2.0 conference ).
3. With its allusion to the version numbers that commonly designate software upgrades, Web 2.0 was a trendy way to indicate an improved form of the World Wide Web (also from Wikipedia).
4. Web 2.0 is the latest moniker in an endless effort to reignite the dot-com mania of the late 1990s (Source: John Dvorak of PC Magazine).
5. It’s a technology upgrade, one that finally does what they’d said version 1.0 would do (Source: Paul Boutin of Slate).

For the long-form definition, check out O’Reilly’s essay, What is Web 2.0.