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What is Web 2.0?

July 23rd, 2007 by Colin Carmichael

Gee, have we seen that question before? As tired as many of us are of talking about it, one cannot talk about web strategy in 2007 without making some attempt at defining the concept of Web 2.0. Andi Gutmans (via Frank Gruber) make a good attempt in a video recently, but still relies too heavily on industry acronyms and buzzwords like RIA, SOA, AJAX, etc. A product manager or marketing exec should not need to understand these terms in order to be comfortable talking about Web2.0. But Andi’s video is still worth watching because the stuff in between the buzzwords is great.

When I need to explain three of the key Web2.0 concepts to folks, I often turn to the ‘In Plain English’ videos produced by Common Craft. Their videos on RSS, wikis, and social networking are extremely accessible for people with very little web technical knowledge. The folks at Common Craft have a real talent for explaining these concepts quickly and in, well, plain English. Unfortunately, they don’t help us define Web2.0 itself.

Of course, there are thousands of definitions of Web 2.0 littered throughout the web – including Wikipedia’s lengthy article. Many of them however are not accessible to people who don’t already ‘get’ the web. So let me take a swing at it.

Web2.0 is an evolution of web technology that allows the web to become a conversation. If Web1.0 represented the information revolution, Web2.0 represents collaboration revolution. It allows, and encourages, the audience to become the content.

So… that’s my definition. Over-simplified? Perhaps, but it passes my test of accessibility to folks who may be having trouble just catching up to Web1.0.

What is your definition of Web2.0?

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2 Responses to “What is Web 2.0?”

  1. […] this is definition week.  Yesterday I tried to define Web2.0 and tomorrow I’ll have another one.  I seems an appropriate way to kick off a new blog, […]

  2. […] week I made an attempt to define the concept of Web2.0 and somehow forgot to include a link to the most powerful visual […]