When it comes to Web 2.0, defining such can be a difficult task. Here is an overview of three articles that attempt to do so, but in different ways:
O’Reilly writes on What is Web 2.0?, that the web is a platform for serving software and web applications. He feels that instead of the processing power of hardware, power is given to the data that is shared and not bound to a single location due to cloud computing. Any SAAS are easily accessible online and can be updated quickly, and because light web programming models are important to Web2.0, collaboration from users is facilitated, creating a philosophy of user control.
McAfee, however, discusses the breakdown of Enterprise 2.0 in Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration [PDF]. He felt that Enterprise 2.0 was comprised of SLATES (Search, Links, Authoring, Tasks, Extensions, and Signals) and mentioned how communication channels were different to platforms.
Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship by Boyd and Ellison tries to distinguish between Social Network Sites vs Social Networking Sites. They say that because a network involves your own group of friends, and networking involves meeting strangers, that the two are very different things. They also defined SNSs to have the following things: a profile, friend’s list, and a publicly viewable friend list.
My first reaction to these attempts at defining Web2.0 is that it’s seems like a bit to absorb. I’ve been introduced to a whole new set of terminology: the long tail, architecture of participation, SLATES, etc. But when trying to decide what definition is better, I seem to focus on the commonality between them: power to the people.
Web2.0, regardless of whether its SAAS, Enterprise 2.0, or social network sites, is clearly user-driven in lots of ways. O’Reilly describes it well when he says that data is power. Because Web 2.0 involves networking, users are given power to carry out SLATES and collaborate and communicate to advance Web2.0 companies, social networks, etc. It facilitates productivity on the web and encourages user participation in not only social aspects but in ways to improve and move products and services forward. Content is being generated by the people and widely visible to all in identity and communication, and more content increases the amount of people that view it and can elaborate on it, creating one large communication circle. But I guess that’s so great about the internet – it brings people together in interesting ways. 🙂