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What is Web 2.0 ?

Posted by arungupta on December 6, 2006 at 6:48 PM PST

Today, I'm starting a series of blog entries on Web
2.0
. These entries will describe my experience of learning different
software offerings from Sun in Web 2.0.

First, lets see what is Web 2.0. The term Web 2.0 was coined by OReilly
Media
  in the opening talk of first Web
2.0 conference
(slides)
held in San Francisco Oct 2004. This term is heavily discussed
and criticized
since it's inception. A year later, Tim O'Reilly explained
the intent behind this term and created a mapping between early Web development
(retrospectively called as Web 1.0) and Web 2.0 apps. It also mentions 9.5
million Google citations a year after the term was coined. However, irrespective
of what the community thinks of the terminology, the fact of the matter is there
is a prevalent need for online collaboration that empowers the content authors
and that is easy (few minutes learning curve), quick (intuitive) and effective
(presentable). Flickr, Wikipedia,
MySpace, Writely,
Del.icio.us and YouTube
are some of the most common (and successful) websites showing Web 2.0 concepts.
Most of these websites have gained popularity in past 1.5 years but it's hard to
imagine life before them. There are a plethora
of web sites
emphasizing the social aspects of Web 2.0 which was not
prominent in Web 1.0. A Google search on Web 2.0 this morning gave 399
million hits
. That's an explosive growth in the number of hits, from 9.5
million to almost 4 billion. The two names that are most prominent in the search
results are Sun and O'Reilly :).

Today,  the term is fairly well known as indicated by this random
survey
. Even though this survey was posed to 500 developers, I feel the term
has been excessively hyped in the past couple of years and the survey results
can be easily extrapolated to a wider audience. Here
is a good collection of different Web 2.0 definitions and explanations. Tim
O'Reilly posted a compact
definition
of Web 2.0 as well. In the past couple of years, the principles
of Web 2.0 have spread to other industries giving rise to several off
shoots
. Here is the list of most
promising Web 2.0 Software of 2006
.

Network connectivity is the most fundamental principle for Web 2.0 to
succeed. Any collaboration amongst users is not possible without being connected
to each other. This fundamental principle aligns with Sun's singular vision
since it's inception, "The
Network is the Computer
". Check out how Sun
helps customers shape Web 2.0
.

AJAX, CSS,
RSS/Atom,
Folksonomies, Blogs,
Mashups
and REST
are some of the main technologies that enable the principles of Web 2.0. In the
subsequent blog entries, I plan to talk about these technologies and Sun's
offering in each of these.

Technorati: Web 2.0
Sun

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