10 Things You Didn't Know about Web 2.0

10 Things You Didn't Know about Web 2.0

8. Some Sites Have L-o-n-g Legs


Early websites are finding a second life. The user-generated-content model has been around for at least a decade, as evidenced by Stick Figure Death Theatre (www.sfdt.com). Back in the late '90s, SFDT was an instant classic, entertaining Web surfers with animated depictions of stick figures dying in all sorts of heinous ways - and inspiring them to create their own submissions. Fast-forward 10 years and SFDT lives, only now, users contribute more elaborate animations, using a mix of technology from Web 2.0 sites: Adobe's Flash, YouTube videos, and content from around the Web.


Stick Figure Death Theatre is going strong with Web 2.0 updates, like Flash animations and a snippet of code that you can use to display the movies on your MySpace page.


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9. There Are Skeptics


Cue the collective groan from Web 1.0 survivors. If you don't think the big tech companies who weathered the Web's first commercial bust aren't going to do whatever it takes to wring a buck out of Web 2.0, we've got a bridge to sell you (payments accepted via PayPal). How far will they go? Paying employees and other stooges to post favorable reviews and otherwise promote - or in Microsoft's case, defend - the company. We've even seen job ads on craigslist.org for paid forum posters.


When the Web first emerged as a viable platform for business, shopping, and other such endeavors, the true Internet geeks bemoaned the commercialization of their "information superhighway." Then they laughed when the bubble burst - and now they're predicting Web 2.0's demise. For proof, Google "Web 2.0 crash." Or just check out uncov (www.uncov.com).


Just one of many gloomy predictions for Web 2.0.


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10. It's Just Getting Started


Stand back - we don't know how big this thing's gonna get! Every age has its skeptics, and the Web 2.0 haters might be in for a long sulk. At the first Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco this spring, the underlying buzz came from a study conducted by online research firm Hitwise (www.hitwise.com), which claims that the bulk of content posted at Web 2.0 sites like Flickr, YouTube, and Wikipedia is posted by a tiny fraction of the sites' users: 0.2 percent, 0.16 percent, and 4.6 percent, respectively. When or if more users start participating rather than just watching, the already staggering amount of content will reach critical mass. It's also been estimated that 2 percent of the 1 billion Web users have their own blogs - that's 20 million bloggers. Another indication that Web 2.0 is on a rampage: The list of companies sponsoring the event (www.web2expo.com) is long and full of nearly unpronounceable.


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BONUS TIP: Make Way for Web 3.0


Imagine having a dozen or so psychic personal assistants who comb the Web looking for all the information you're going to need someday soon, accurately predict stock market and cultural trends, and effortlessly plan your perfect vacation or early retirement. That, in theory, is Web 3.0.


The next version of the Web is expected to use artificial-intelligence technology that can think the way humans do - technology that's smart enough to make connections between disparate bits of data, guessing, for example, that your recent searches for inns in Maine and rental cars mean that you'll also want info about highway construction (buried in a local news site) and the best place to get lobster rolls along the way (culled from the RoadFood forum).


That's the dream, anyway. The reality is that Web 3.0 - coming in a couple of years - is likely to be a more polished, intuitive version of Web 2.0. We'll probably see some AI technology, and we'll be working on the Web more and using installed software less. Of course by then, we'll be chattering excitedly about Web 4.0. - Michelle Delio




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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.


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

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