Web 2.0 is a broad term, used to refer to technologies and tools, but also to a design philosophy and a modus operandi for web-based applications.
In terms of technology, Web 2.0 aggregates a set of technologies that enable a richer user experience on the Web, more akin to traditional client-server interaction with elaborate GUIs and direct response. These technologies include AJAX, SOAP/REST, Adobe Flash/Flex, RSS and Tagging. The tools usually referred to as being part of Web 2.0 are blogs, wikis, social bookmarking and social networking, however it must be noted that all of the above are typically based on Web 1.0 technologies such as HTML, XML, Java, JSP etc.
Web 2.0 websites typically include some of the following features and techniques, referred to under the acronym SLATES:
- Search: Finding information through keyword search.
- Links: Connects information together into a meaningful information ecosystem using the model of the Web, and provides low-barrier social tools.
- Authoring: The ability to create and update content leads to the collaborative work of many rather than just a few web authors. In wikis, users may extend, undo and redo each other's work. In blogs, posts and the comments of individuals build up over time.
- Tags: Categorization of content by users adding "tags" - short, usually one-word descriptions = to facilitate searching, without dependence on pre-made categories. Collections of tags created by many users within a single system may be referred to as "folksonomies" (i.e., folk taxonomies).
- Extensions: Software that makes the Web an application platform as well as a document server
- Signals: The use of syndication technology such as RSS to notify users of content changes.
The Web 2.0 philosophy is about allowing users to do more than just retrieve information. The emphasis is on:
- Interaction, building on the facilities of Web 1.0 to provide "Network as platform" computing, allowing users to run elaborate applications entirely through a browser. By removing the need to install additional software to gain access to advanced functionality, applications become more accessible and appealing.
- Contribution, supporting users to add their own content can own the data on a Web 2.0 site and exercise control over that data. This "Architecture of participation" encourages users to add value to the application as they use it. This makes for a bidirectional model of communication with the public and helps building, strengthening and maintaining user involvement.
What our use of Web2.0 technology means for you
We have a wide variety of Web 2.0 tools under our belt and the ability to mix-and-match them to meet your requirements; we can make the technology work to your benefit, because we have:
- Experience in Web 2.0 projects, meaning we can identify which technology and tools combination is right for you.
- Commitment to Web 2.0 philosophy, meaning we can help you organize your application workflow in a way that will maximize your operational benefit.
- A thorough understanding of the Web 2.0 technology, meaning we can intervene where necessary, introduce custom development and/or combine it with other technologies.