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What is Web 2.0

This is one of the most common terms in web. You must have heard many people taking about Web 2.0 standards as well as websites being Web 2.0 compliant. Now lets see what Web 2.0 means.

Wikipedia defines Web 2.0 as;

Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O’Reilly Media in 2004, refers to a perceived second-generation of Web based communities and hosted services — such as social networking sites, wikis and folksonomies — that facilitate collaboration and sharing between users. O’Reilly Media titled a series of conferences around the phrase, and it has since become widely adopted.

According the Tim O Reilly;

Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform

Web 2.0 is the era when people have come to realize that it’s not the software that enables the web, but the services that are delivered over the web also matters. Web 2.0 is the phase where people began to believe that leadership in the computer industry is not always with traditional software companies. This was the phase when technologies such as weblogs, social bookmarking, podcasts, RSS feeds, social software, Web APIs, Web standards and online Web services came into existence in the web usage.

Web 2.0 has its own design patterns and architecture systems so that they are more popular and more people use them.

Characteristics of Web 2.0 : What does a Web 2.0 website have?

  • Its entirely based on network as a platform. Users able to collect and share data through a web browser.
  • A user friendly interface based on latest technologies like Ajax.
  • Enhanced graphical interfaces such as gradients and rounded corners which were typically absent in the Web 1.0 era. This can be seen in many of the websites.
  • More of social networking sites concept.

Technologically speaking, lets see what has been major changes in the Web 2.0 concept.

  • Weblogs, this has been one of the major changes in the Web 2.0 era.
  • Syndication and aggregation of data through RSS/Atom.
  • CSS and XHTML compliant.
  • New techniques in web development based on technologies like Ajax.
  • Use of tags, tag clouds and meaningful URLs.
  • Innovative web based applications and desktop.

There has been lot of criticism on the Web 2.0. Since there is no particular standards set, Web 2.0 can mean different things to different people. But Web 2.0 is accepted widely. So next time you hear the word “Web 2.0” in any website or weblog, remember to check these features to make sure that its Web 2.0.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

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Nirmal is a Technology Blogger and a Microsoft MVP in Windows. He can be contacted at You can find Nirmal on , and .



  1. Shankar Ganesh

    May 17, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Good Post. Dugg and Stumbled 🙂

  2. kuanhoong

    May 17, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Nice! Good information for everyone to know what is Web 2.0 🙂

  3. nirmaltv

    May 17, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Shankar and kuanhoong,
    Thanks for your comments. Hope you liked it.

  4. ReviewSaurus

    May 17, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Hmm, I always love detailed posts and that’s what I love about your writing style too 🙂

  5. nirmaltv

    May 17, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for the comments. Good to hear that you liked my writing style. 🙂

  6. M G Harish

    May 17, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    Nice and informative… Keep it up

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  8. Pallab

    May 19, 2007 at 1:03 am

    If I had to associate one word with Web2.0 it would be interactivity.
    The design or looks doesnt matter. Web 2.0 isnt about rounded corners or big bold fonts.

  9. nirmaltv

    May 19, 2007 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for your comments.

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