Describing Web 2.0

I was having a talk with my friend Adil Desai, and the conversation came round to web 2.0 … when Adil’s reaction to the entire web 2.0 thing was, “Boss, you write a lot about it, but i cant understand a thing of what you say. Cant you describe web 2.0 in simple English”? Well, this was something i never thought about, but it got me thinking, and some of the thoughts i am writing here. It was interesting also because i believe that if you cant explain something in less than 3 sentences you havent really understood it. Which, as you can see, i havent, but then thats a different point.

First of all, whats the basic difference between web 1.0 (though there wasnt a term like this) and web 2.0 … If you remember when the web starting growing, most websites you went to had a link saying “Contact Webmaster”. In other words, there were some people who actually created the content which went on the web, while others had to get in touch with them if they needed to see some changes in the site, or if they had feedback. Over the last few years, you wouldnt have come across the webmaster term. Sites still have administrators, but administrators are more in terms of technology and architecture, rather than in terms of content. Today, people can create their own content without needing anyone to do something for them. People can change the look and feel of their sites using widgets, and so on.

Another difference is at a more basic level. This is in the understanding that content is not just about documents, but also about what people think, what they do, and how people connect, collaborate and work with each other. Lets take an example of two people making a ppt. While the outcome of the collaboration is a ppt, the process is also a learning experience, and is also seen as content, in addition to the ppt which is the tangible outcome of the process. In other words, this is about the understanding that conversations are key, and content, experience and learning come from there.


2 Comments on “Describing Web 2.0”

  1. Gary Wise says:

    I forget who said this, but I heard a description that sticks with me…
    Web 1.0 was an environment where the user went to a site to “get something”….Web 2.0 is an environment where the user can “give” something as well as “get”. Simple, I’ll admit, but it does fit that three sentence bogey you mentioned.

    Like your blog, my friend!


  2. thoughtsandme2004 says:

    Thanks for the sharing the definition, Gary. Simple, and it describes the idea quite well.

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