10 Things You Didn't Know about Web 2.0

10 Things You Didn't Know about Web 2.0

 

Web 2.0 is a slippery beast. Like most powerful tools and technologies, Web 2.0 is whatever you make of it. Type-A go-getter? Business is booming on the 2.0 frontier, with new ways to communicate, collaborate, and tap into public opinion. Social butterfly? Social networking has trimmed the proverbial six degrees of separation way down - by at least four degrees. And even if you sneak to the Web to waste time rather than save it, new technology delivers exactly what you want to surf, helping you waste time in a much more, uh, quality way.

 

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1. It's Evolutionary, Not Revolutionary

 

You've been doing most of this stuff for years. If all of the Web 2.0 hoopla sounds like a clever marketing spin on the kinds of things that you (or your geekier buddies) have been doing for ages - engaging in Star Trek vs. Star Wars debates (and massive pr0n, natch) on Usenet, for example - that's because it is.

 

What makes Web 2.0 "new" is the evolved technology that enables more user-interactivity features while also providing more personal privacy and security, in the case of your online banking and other business - or quite the opposite on the social side of Web 2.0. Geezers like us remember the days when savvy Web users vigilantly guarded every shred of their personal information online - which must be the reason Apple's eWorld service never caught on. In contrast, Web 2.0 users create elaborate personal profiles and willfully share interests that determine their place in the online community. And for the wary, MySpace and the others have added privacy features so you can block your information from random creeps.

 

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2. It's All About the API

 

One little acronym drives them all. API is one of those acronyms that pundits and real geeks throw around to sound knowledgeable (pundits) or communicate with peers (real geeks). But to the rest of us, it's about as vague a term as Web 2.0 itself.

 

In Web 2.0 context, an API, which stands for application programming interface, isn't quite a software application, but rather a way to create mini applications that are designed to fetch and display information from online sources. Google Search is an early example of an open API: You can use it on the Web at www.google.com. You can use it directly from your Safari or Firefox toolbar. You can add it to your own website by pasting in a snippet of code. And there's even a Google Search Dashboard Widget. All use the same underlying API. What's more, Google recently released a beta version of Google Desktop (desktop.google.com/mac), an implementation of its mighty search engine that you install on your Mac to search your own files, instead of (or along with) searching the Web. Essentially, Google used its own API to create a stand-alone desktop application. Engineering types call that eating your own dog food.

 

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3. MySpace Is Only the Tip of the Iceberg

 

Social networking has already come a long way, baby. Web 2.0 is more than just signing up at a social networking site to find other fans of your peculiar hobby or interest. Web 2.0 is all about new ways to build social networks. In the old days, Yahoo ruled as the default sorter, characterizer, and organizer of the Web's endless pages. Today, members of sites like MySpace (www.myspace.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com), Bebo (www.bebo.com), Xanga (www.xanga.com), and most recently Zooped (www.zooped.com) stake their claim, build a garish webpage, and tag it with their own idea of what's what and where they fit in the grand scheme of the Net. The effect snowballs as more users discover and designate each other as friends, then add descriptive tags to their own profiles so that other members can find them too, which serves to expand the reach of each member's own tags in an endless friend-of-a-friend cascade. There are even metasites related to social networking: Mashable (www.mashable.com) is a blog that specifically covers social networking news.

 

Xanga proves that MySpace isn’t the only place you can create a chaotic personal page to win friends and influence people.

 

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Social Networking

Social Networking sites will have a place as long as the internet has palace in society. People will always use social networking tools to find new friends keep in touch with current friends and express themselves. That is why we created a new Social Networking website sociallive.com. This Social Networking sites is for 18+ only Social Networking website.

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Anonymous

I have a profile on every site you've mentioned, My favorite is zooped.com I think they will have a bright future.

G

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Frank


I'm sorry but perhaps you should change your magazine's name to Web 2.0|Life

This marks the third article in the past year about Web 2.0. Here's an idea: how about writing one correct article about Web 2.0 and then moving on to another topic. Your first article (which I believe was in MacAddict just before the name change) had about half the content that wasn't even Web 2.0 and yet it was all lumped together as a Web 2.0 article. The second article was better but then along comes this third article which was almost good enough to have been the first and only article about Web 2.0. However, you had to go ahead and include VoIP AGAIN as a Web 2.0 technology. Please tell me how IM software, Voice chat, Video chat, and VoIP are WEB technologies. It doesn't matter if you are talking about Web 1.0, Web 2.0, or the next version of the Web, these technologies have nothing to do with any version of the Web. They do not use the hypertext transfer protocol. They are applications that use the Internet but the Internet is NOT the Web.

I have subscribed to and read your magazine for a really long time. I would like to ask as a long time reader for you to please stop writing Web 2.0 articles. There are plenty of other topics out there.

Sincerely,
Frank

P.S. I will be posting this in the forums as well for further discussion.

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