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“WEB 2.0” is an Industry Buzzword
• A buzzword is usually jargon that seeps it was into everyday language as trendy word or phase used to impress rather than explain. • A buzzword spends only a fraction of its life being used; the rest is spent being abused. • And like all buzzwords, because Web 2.0 isn’t concretely defined, it is being used to label many aspects of the internet. • Generally, Web 2.0 is used in reference to the perceived “second generation” of the internet.
• The lack of a formal definition does mean that the term is useless. • The term represented the broad collection of trends in internet technologies and business models. • These trends use World Wide Web Technology and designs to aid and enhance creativity, information sharing and collaboration among users. • The major aim of the internet, in a Web 2.0 system, is to completely harness the power of:
– user contribution – collective intelligence – network effects
• The term was coined by Tim O’Reilly and became notable after the first “O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 Conference” in 2004. • While the name suggests a newer version of the World Wide Web, Web 2.0 is merely a new approach t the ways in which developers and users may be able to use the web. • Web 2.0 was conceptualized during a brainstorming session between O’Reilly and MediaLive International in 2002 when the growth of the Internet sector had began declining - the bursting of the dot-com bubble. • Many persons had begun coming to the conclusion that the web was overhyped and there was a drop in internt related businesses being formed. This drop provided the stage for the creation and subsequent growth of the principles of Web 2.0 in sites.
Figure 1: The NASDAQ index of Internet Related Stocks during the period1994-2008.
• Though fluctuating, the NASDAQ index reflects the peak of the values of internet based companies during the year 2000 and their subsequent decline towards 2003. It was during 2002 the index recorded the lowest point in 8 years for these “dot-com” businesses. The increase in the index was said to the beginning of businesses to use many of the principles which would later be collectively outlined as Web 2.0.
At the Web 2.0 Conference, it was acknowledged that Web 2.0 does not have a hard boundary but instead a ‘gravitational core’. In order, to help the visualization of this concept, the Web 2.0 Meme Map was designed:
Figure 2: The Web 2.0 “Meme Map” which developed at a brainstorming session in O’Reilly Media. While only being a work in progress, this displayed that many ideas may radiate out of the core idea of Web 2.0
Figure 3: “The Web 2.0 Mindmap” as given by Markus Angermeier • Angermeier’s “Mindmap” shows the main ideas around Web 2.0 to be Usability, Participation, Economy, Design, Standardization and Remixability. In white are the tools and theories that facilitate those ideas. Between the ideas and the theories, the technologies and concepts that have been derived from them are in pink. In grey are the some websites and applications that use these. This representation of Web 2.0 further refines O’Reilly’s Meme Map.
Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0
• Web 2.0 is a virtual platform where users relinquish many of the controls they were used to from Web 1.0. One of the most innovative and influential socialization projects yet, Web 2.0 brings local and global together in a relationship of information: More interaction with less control. Web 1.0 began as a place for businesses to broadcast information to people. Now, many years later, it has become a place for people to offer up information as well. It is this integration of people and the Web that is the heart of the Web 2.0 creation. In the beginning, people read what others wrote and they were comfortable with the knowledge. But, over time, these same people decided they wanted to be a part of the information superhighway. Moving from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 has nothing to do with programmers and data engineers, it has to do with people all meeting together to become a part of one large communities. No longer do persons sit back and merely listen to the news they are fed, they instead blog, forum post and comment to the public, how they feel about that news. Keep track of web addresses is becoming a thing of the past; RSS feeds live on computer screens to provide a summary of the sight and keep track of constantly updating material. The differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 are numerous. In 2.0 interfaces are more friendly, information more global, people more connected and data more easily searched.
The Evolution to the Web as a Read/Write Platform
(1993-2003) Mostly HTML pages viewed through a browser
Mode Pr im ary Uni t o f co nt ent Stat e Viewed thr oug h… Arch it ec tur e Cont en t
(2003- beyond) Web pages, and a lot of other “content” shared over the web, with more interactivity; more like an application than a “page”
“Read” “Page” “static” Web browser “Client-Server” Web Coders “geeks”
“Write” & Contribute “Post / record” “dynamic” Browsers, RSS Readers, anything “Web Services” Everyone
Create d Domby … o f… ai n
The trends associated with a Web 2.0 site or system are built around 3 key components:
New business designs that take advantage of the scalability of peer based application networks
Lighter weight infrastructure and simpler programming models
Tapping collective knowledge
• Companies are increasingly relying on networks of people who need real-time access to one another and project resources. The ability to easily interact with customers, vendors and partners is critical to ongoing success. • Although process reengineering can improve business flexibility and efficiency, competitors often can easily replicate these approaches. Business models based on Web 2.0 strategies are typically more difficult to replicate and thus are potentially a better competitive advantage. • Web 2.0 approaches create opportunities to turn traditional sales and marketing strategies on their heads. • Using Web 2.0 approaches, companies can cost-effectively sell and market wider varieties of products and services to fewer people in niche marketplaces. For companies with intense competition, this can be a great way to differentiate themselves, and stabilize or increase revenue
• Web 2.0 strategies have the potential to tap the collective knowledge of the entire value chain—across geographic boundaries. And this can help create a more collaborative and dynamic company culture that fosters innovation. • Web 2.0 technology enables people to connect in ways that simply weren’t possible before. Individuals and teams conjoin interest- and job-related networks and participate based on preferred working styles. And by harnessing the collective intelligence of customers, organizations can enhance customer relationship management and potentially respond more quickly to changing marketplace conditions. For example, customers could help to create new products or services based on their needs or tastes. • To increase differentiation, the challenge is to determine how to use Web 2.0 technologies to enable new insights from existing information. An optimal strategy will give all of your people and partners personalized views of the information they need to make faster, more informed decisions.
Community Based Trends
• Web 2.0 is built on the concept of reuse and relies on open, standards-based technology for the flexibility and scalability required in such dynamic environments. Web 2.0 technologies enable IT departments to rapidly create situational applications that unlock enterprise data and applications for business users and customers. Tools for situational application development provide the ability for business users to remix content and business tools on the spot, based on their job roles or specific needs. Through this capability, you can achieve high business value at unattractive cost, while protecting, extending and deriving new value from existing infrastructure investments. When properly executed, a Web 2.0 strategy will provide users with real-time access to relevant, trusted information and applications presented based on role, expertise or preferences.
Rich User Experience User Participation Dynamic Content Metadata Web Standard Scalability – The “Long Tail”
1. Rich User Experience
2. User Participation
• The key to a competitive advantage in, internet applications is the extent to which users add their own data to that which you provide. • The "architecture of participation" is not restricted to software development. • Users are involved both implicitly and explicitly in adding value to the applications.
The most common types of user reliant Web2.0 applications include:
• Social Networking: Keeping your contacts online through a web interface with a useful representation of them. Facebook, Hi5, MySpace and Multiply are examples of social networking sites • Social Bookmarking: Your links and references to different kinds of resources live online. • Social Tagging (Folksonomies): An unintentional, collective effort of cataloging the Web, with added social significance. • Socialware: del.icio.us, BlogMarks, Wists, LinkedIn, Orkut, 43Things, flickr... always in “perpetual beta”, offering open APIs and keeping certain level of ‘hackability’ as an enabler for improving user innovation.
3. Dynamic Content
Early Web sites were lay out to be static. Examples for this include personal home pages and corporate Web sites. Dynamic content was introduced when the development of database back-upped Websites began to increase. The databases were accessed by HTML-extending scripts written in languages such as CGI, Perl, PHP, etc. Examples of applications for this are online shops, virtual community platforms, and search engines. When more and more personal home pages were becoming extended or replaced by weblogs, dynamic content became a design concern:
– Every entry is uniquely identifiable through a URI (Universal Resource Identifier). – Old content will not be deleted, but is still available through archives
Only a small percentage of users will go to the trouble of adding value to an application. Therefore, some sites have the added effect of harvesting data on the user data as a set side effect of using the application in order to help enrich content.
• • • • Metadata is data used to describe other pieces or collections of data. Meta data provides a framework for this other data. Metadata could document data attributes, structure, location etc. In weblogs, it is common that articles are ’tagged’, meaning given one or more keywords (called tags) about them, or put into categories. These tags would be metadata. Search engines use metadata to locate search response. Webmasters employ SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques to try to make sure that their metadata is optimal for the content of their sites so that they would be placed high in search responses.
5. Web Standards / Valid Markups
• • •
Web standards are constantly being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Web pages following syntax expressed in a W3C Recommendations are said to be valid. Though web page validity is often mentioned in combination with Web 2.0, most sites never pass all of the standard set by the W3C.
Examples of Standards
6. Scalability – “The Long Tail”
• ’The Long Tail’ refers to a property that is often certified by Web success stories, such as peer-to-peer based applications, Amazon, Ebay, or Google’s AdSense. • Small sites make up the bulk of the internet's content; narrow slots make up the bulk of internet's the possible applications. • Customer self service and algorithmic data management are influence the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head. • This covers the ability of applications to scale easily, and even to be of greater value the more users there are.
Examples of the ‘Long Tail’
• Amazon introduced user interaction, such as user-written reviews and their famous recommendation of other products of possible interest for a user, generated through buying statistics. These features scale easily with the number of their users, and are of course more significant, the more users there are. • EBay relies on the principle of large supply and demand. The more offers there are, the more interesting for a customer the service becomes. The more prospective customers there are, the more attractive the service is for sellers.
• Generally, the popular products are those high in supply and demand. Competition is stiff since many retailers sell them. Shoppers can find these products anywhere and are more likely to buy them from big retailers who can buy in bulk and offer big discounts. • Products that comprise the long tail, though still popular, are so only in niche markets. • In e-commerce, niches are easier to target and proprietors are able to “ride the long tail” to increase profits.
Implications of Web 2.0
• Because of Web 2.0, even the smallest organization can share a story and can be heard by a world wide audience. • This new use Web of connections is already allowing nonprofit supporters to build movements for social, environmental, economic, and political change. • Organizations that can tap into and quickly leverage the collective creativity of their employees and customers have greater potential to change the current state of their market in such a way that they can surpass the competition. • Web 2.0 is also creating a massive assault on main stream media through participatory journalism, where anyone can play an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and circulating news and information . Examples of participatory journalism are: CNN iReport, CBS EyeMobile, WeMedia etc.
Examples of Web 2.0 Technology
– – away from the traditionally necessary reload after a user action to a Web page that behaves in a way very similar to desktop applications.
• • • • Syndication involves delivering updates of websites to internet users who subscribe to the respective sites Overwhelmingly fast spread a technology called RSS, an acronym for either RDF Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication. other formats for feeds have been developed and are in use, too, such as Atom, or Klip. Examples for sites often offering syndication feeds are:
– – – – – Weblogs News sites Niche sites (e.g. Web technology, cultural site, . . . ) Weather forecasts Picture sites
• • •
The user does not have to search through the page to see if there are updates, but the news are pushed to him as his RSS reader requests the feeds (the RSS files) regularly. This kind of content syndication can also be integrated into Web pages, such as the Weblog sidebar in MyOpera Community Blogs, or the Google personalized search page. In iGoogle (Google Personalized search page), syndication is also used as a mean of integration of multiple services.
Examples of Web 2.0 Applications
Google Applications Microsoft Applications Blogs Wikipedia Flickr Peer-to-Peer
Google Applications of Web 2.0
• • • • • Gmail – “gmail.google.com” or “www.gmail.com” This is Google’s Web-based e-mail service Gmail was introduced in 2004.. Gmail is implemented with the AJAX technology. Gmail’s interface resembles desktop applications, generating the so-called ’Rich User Experience’. Among other features, Gmail allowed features which no other Web mail site had before. Without reload of whole pages, Gmail can:
– – – carry out all general mail program actions use keyboard shortcuts use an instant spell checker
Gmail was the first web mail site that allowed organization of emails into folders. Users could to find mails by either
– – – conversations replies to and forwards of messages starring adding a ’star’ to a message searching full text search on all messages, relying on Google’s original search engine technologies
1. Google Maps – “www.maps.google.com” • Google Maps is a maps service providing satellite images of the whole world, together with street maps. It is included into ’Google Local’, but was a stand-alone application a long time. Two features are of special interest in the context of Web 2.0 :
– AJAX -This service is build on AJAX technology, too. This means, draggable satellite pictures, or navigation possibilities, that are very close to desktop applications, and quite fast responses also on slow computers and Internet connections. – Extensibility -Many Web services make use of Google Maps, for example the housing agency, HousingMaps for finding of accommodation via a Google Map, interwoven with data about houses from another Web site. Sites like worldcountries.info, show a google map of the countries in addition to giving info.
Google maps have the ability to show location-specific content added by Google community by users. Persons can add pictures, articles and other media to the maps to add a new dimension to the map
Personalized Google Search Page Google has made its home page, http://www.google.com/ and the respective localized pages, such as http://www.google.gy/ and http://www.google.co.uk/, adaptable to a user’s wishes. After logging in, users can choose from several modules, including news, weather, or e-mail. Google offers the possibility to include almost any content, like RSS feeds or Web pages. Furthermore, the AJAX engine allows user actions like drag-and-drop, which is very unusual for Web sites.
1. Google AdSense - www.google.com/adsense/ • • Google AdSense is a service for webmasters to place advertisements on his Web site. These advertisements are context relevant – they are being retrieved from Google when a Web site is being visited by a user. The content that is displayed then depends on the content of the Web site. The webmaster is paid for every click. The corresponding program to place ads on other people’s or businesses’ Web sites is called AdWords. The price for an ad determines how often Google will display it, and whether it is being displayed on popular or less popular sites. These ads were the first to adapt to the page where they stand: they often are made up of a little text, using the same styles as the Web site, and fit to it’s the content. AdSense advertisements belong to the category of sponsored links. These have been shown to be more successful and more accepted than traditional, ’static’ ads. AdSense is a good example for the deep, extensive use of the power of the Web. Google merges its core area of excellence – indexing Web pages – with smart ideas along with small scripts to generate a whole new field of income.
Microsoft Applications of Web 2.0
1. Windows Live - http://www.live.com/ • Windows Live is a platform to bundle certain user activities. After a login, it is possible for a user to create and modify a personal start page, very similar to Google’s personalized search page (see section 5.1.3). A web e-mail interface, the msn messenger chat tool and a computer security centre are integrated into Windows Live, too. • The Web e-mail tool’s behaviour is similar to the already longer existing Microsoft Exchange Web Mail platform. Here, the user had an intuitive and fast responding Web application, based on DHTML. The conception of Windows Live signifies a reaction of Microsoft to Google’s activitieson the Web, especially with respect to binding users to a Web site by combining services and creating a user friendly and customizable environment.
Office Live www.microsoft.com/office/officelive/default.mspx Microsoft OfficeLive is a Web platform available but is being developed further. It is targets small businesses and allows them to set up a Web presence easily, with integration of e-mail addresses, and synchronizable with the desktop Microsoft Office.
• Weblogs, or blogs for short, are online diaries. As they are visible to every visitor, its topics are mostly less personal than traditional diaries. • Weblogs are characterized by hyperlinks to other articles or Web sites, a comment functionality, and unique identifiers for every entry and every comment. • Blogging has introduced a whole new form of online publication, with huge success in many countries • While blogging is a massive sign for growing user participation and interaction, some people criticize that it is being viewed as a replacement of the traditional media. • The most popular blog provider is Blogger – Blogger enables anyone to be able to create a free, attractive, manageable blog by following the simple steps provided.
• • • • • •
Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, created and managed for users, by users. Editing pages is very easy, so the dream of online collaboration forming a huge repository of knowledge is very realizable. Wikipedia is available in numerous languages worldwide. Wikipedia’s lack of quality is an even bigger problem than the easily possible modification and deletion of content. Though quality campaigns have been carried out, Wikipedia is still not comparable in accuracy and reliability to existing encyclopedias. The main advantage Wikipedia has is that it is free. Its authors form a community, and the project is considered a huge success in online collaboration.
• Flickr is a photo publishing Web site. It was bought by Yahoo. • Flickr is the first photo service that introduced sorting photos by tags – i.e. keywords describing what is being depicted. • The Web site Flickr makes use of AJAX technology.
• Peer-to-peer applications function in a way opposed to the traditional client-server architecture. • With peer-to-peer, every client is (meant to be) a server at the same time. • The effect of growing numbers of participants, the number of servers grow in with the number of clients (unlike in client-server architectures) • Internet file sharing applications are very popular, but the method is also used in academic environments, or in the BitTorrent network, a ’cooperative file distribution’ implementation. • Popular peer-to-peer applications include Limewire, Kazaa, µTorrent, eMule, Shareaza, and Napster.