Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Web 2.0: The Difference

Today I read the article “What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software” by Tim O’Reilly. This article was published in 2005 on the website In the article, O’Reilly begins by talking about how the dot-com bubble had seemed to burst. Many websites had taken similar approaches on how the internet works and the way their sites should use it. With many sites using the internet in the same manner, people began to believe that the web was overhyped. What happened from here was the development of new websites used the internet in an entirely different way. A new web was born and given the name “Web 2.0”. O’Reilly goes on to talk about the differences between the old ways companies used the internet with the new, “Web 2.0” approaches.

According to O’Reilly, one of the methods to becoming successful in the “Web 2.0” era is “harnessing collective intelligence”. What he means by this is that companies can use information gathered over time to aid in helping new or returning visitors. With the presence of even more information than before, their experience can be made much easier and more informative than the last. One example that O’Reilly gives in this section is “harnesses collective intelligence” by keeping track of user reviews and using them to rank search results. This is a great example that I feel many internet consumers can relate to. When you are in the process of buying something you usually want something that is not only said to be good, but also tested and verified. The best source for this information is the consumers who have already tried the products. Another way I have seen use previous information to be more helpful to the consumer is recommending other products. They tell you other products people have purchased after buying the product you are looking at. This is helpful to the customer and also to They may be helping you pick a matching pair of pants for your shirt, but if you make the purchase, it also helped them to profit.

The concept of “Web 2.0” is one that is very complex and can be discussed for hours. It is a technology that will continue to advance. “Web 2.0” takes different approaches on how to use the internet than the previous version, and these new approaches are what make “Web 2.0” more useful than its predecessor. The internet will continue to evolve as time goes by and innovations will continue to occur. The important thing is to stay ahead of the game because history repeats itself. When the “Web 2.0” sites become oversaturated it is the “Web 3.0” sites that will rise to the top.

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