A sort of primer, using a rain forest analogy
The changes are technical and involve thousands of individual programmers, dozens of start-ups, and a few of the largest software companies in the world. The result is the equivalent of a massive software upgrade for the entire Web, what some commentators have taken to calling Web 2.0. Essentially, the Web is shifting from an international library of interlinked pages to an information ecosystem, where data circulate like nutrients in a rain forest.
In the Web 2.0 model, we have thousands of services scrutinizing each new piece of information online, grabbing interesting bits, remixing them in new ways, and passing them along to other services. Each new addition to the mix can be exploited in countless new ways, both by human bloggers and by the software programs that track changes in the overall state of the Web. Information in this new model is analyzed, repackaged, digested, and passed on down to the next link in the chain. It flows.
—Steven Johnson, Web 2.0 Arrives
Reviewing some of the intrical parts of Web 2.0
Web 2.0 isn’t a ‘thing’, but a collection of approaches, which are all converging on the development world at a rapid pace. These approaches, including APIs, RSS, Folksonomies, and Social Networking, suddenly give application developers a new way to approach hard problems with surprisingly effective results.
This style of community tagging, commonly referred to as a Folksonomy, allows a site to create an alternative categorization scheme, created by the users of that site. While less accurate than other styles of organizing a site, it’s appealing because it involves the entire user population in the categorization process. You can think of it as a continuous, full-site card sorting exercise that produces a dynamic, live navigation scheme as the users sort the cards.
—Web 2.0: The Power Behind The Hype
The heart of Web 2.0 is about being able to remix and integrate without a negotiation, without permission even. It’s about being able to take an rss feed or an open API or data scraped from an XHTML website and grab that data, jam it together with another data source of the same kind, and build something new. Web 2.0 is about sampling, about mixing, about mash-ups. The web 2.0 hacker takes APIs and uses them the way a DJ uses albums, recombining disparate (already valuable) material into something fresh and new.
Jonathan Boutelle, Hey DJWeb 2.0 and remix culture
It’s about people, people!
Web 2.0 is primarily interesting from a philosophical standpoint. It’s about relinquishing control, it’s about openness, it’s about trust and authenticity. APIs, Tags, Ajax, mashups, and all that are symptoms, outputs, results of this philosophical bent.
So there you go. We have just witnessed a transformation from “I don’t need a website” to “I have a global master site with 4 verticalized micro-sites built on web 2.0 infrastructure in only 17 evolutionary steps.
Peter Merholz, Web 2.0It’s not about the technology