Sunday, August 5, 2012

What's Web 2.0?

As the first approach of defining Service 2.0 is through seeing Service 2.0 as an inspiration of Web 2.0, this post will share some contributions for defining Web 2.0.

The term ”Web 2.0” was first used in October 2004 in the first web 2.0 conference and in 3 years time it was cited 135 millions times on Google (O’Reilly 2007) . When first introduced, O’Reilly formulated their sense of Web 2.0 by the following example:

Since then, efforts have been done to study if Web 2.0 is more of a buzzword and marketing Jargon than a clear term with a clear definition, where does the web 1.0 end and where does the web 2.0 begin?(Madden et al 2006). Another research was done by Cormode and others in 2008 to come up with clear distinction between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 and also between Web 2.0 and what could be mistakenly thought to be the whole Web 2.0 like social networking. 

In their systematic review for the terms health 2.0 and medicine 2.0 De Belt (et al 2010) have concluded that the term web 2.0 is currently accepted among authors and listed 2 definitions. The definitions they listed included O’Reilly’s definition of Web 2.0 as “a set of economic, social, and technology trends that collectively form the basis for the next generation of the Internet, a more mature, distinctive medium characterized by user participation, openness, and network effects” and Hansen’s definition of Web 2.0 as “a term which refers to improved communication and collaboration between people via social networking” and they concluded that the main clear difference is the move from uni-directional to multi-directional interaction. 

They concluded that 2 meanings of Web 2.0 could be spotted from definitions. The first meaning is that Web 2.0 is a combination of technological developments while the other is that Web 2.0 is not the technology but it’s what the technology enables of empowering people (De Belt et al 2010, P. 6).  Eijkman presented another definition of Web 2.0 as ”new internet services which enable users to collaboratively create, share and recreate knowledge from multiple sources, leverage collective intelligence and organize action” which is more focused on the value that gets created on the platform than the platform itself. 

Through his highly cited paper on the topic, O’Reilly has separately highlighted 3 major characteristics of Web 2.0 as the most important ones where he literally said “Web 2.0 is …” These 3 characteristics were “harnessing collective intelligence”, “We, The media” (meaning that the audience decides what’s important) and “The network as a platform”. 

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