Definition of Web 2.0 – I think I have it…

May 29, 2006

Okay, this is my attempt. Because we need to get over the words, accept the terms and realize what a great thing is happening, lets move on and get back to evangelizing the potential of the 'second coming'…yes?…coool

Intro…

Web 2.0 is the next web after the first adoption of 'the' web. It's called Web 2.0 to collectively categorize, and make 'open source' as popular in mainstream as it has with the developer world, were sharing content was and still is the norm. Web 2.0 opens the doors for user freedom in interacting with web content and applications…

Effectively, Web 2.0 is the category and it just means it is a 'social web', rather than the first web being a 'business web'.

Web 2.0 Social Web-applications are the platform that makes up the 'social web'.

What is the social web of the next Internet (Web 2.0)…????

Definition…
Web 2.0 – the social web…n. "anything innovative that enables a high level of the user's social interaction and status on the web".

- the medium of the social web is currently the internet.

Definition of the Web 3.0…well..Web 3.0 – 'Digitalizing the web' will be the web becoming not just the internet, but become the web of devices/infrastructure that will make up one big collective network and infrastructure, which will become the new platform (mobile, home tech system, internet wireless grid, tv, transport vehicle's internet systems, anything that is a network can deliver content and connect in as a 'digital web'.)

You don't believe me then check this out at Vodafone…"future" of virtual braclet, electronic newspaper and digital wallpaper…a must see.

I will think of a simple definition for Web 3.0 – Digitalizing the web later…anyway…back to Web 2.0 – Social Web…

- Characteristics of the social web…the latest innovations…

  • RSS (really simple syndication) of content
  • Interactive chat sessions
  • User generated content
  • Mashing of current technology services and delivering more specialized offerings (using google maps and plotting crime or housing prices)
  • Community moderated and rated content
  • Track backs and Ajax
  • Connect with friends in real time (online now)
  • Share content and files fast
  • Stream music and generate intelligent suggestions of like tastes to you.
  • Comment on anything.
  • Share anything you couldn't before, eg. calendars
  • Create your own, DIY media

Deep infiltration of conversation in the new Web

May 29, 2006

Imagine you are in the real world for a minute (some of you may say, I already am, some of you may need to unplug from your computer), and you tell a friend/work collegue something you are so passionate about, or have an idea about and your friend/work collegue tells another friend just how amazing you are and how much you know on a particular topic and that friend tells another friend and before you know it the 'grapevine' knows how good you are on the topic (say, I know a great fitness trainer, he's really into new age wellness and health and trains some really amazing people etc). All of a sudden, it comes back to you when you start getting queries about your knowledge.

Have you ever met just an everyday person and just thought, wow they are so interesting and amazing? And how other people you meet think the same way? Interesting people are everywhere, but we don't all get to search for them and read their knowledge or passions, it's just happens by word of mouth and refferal. Traditionally, it's only if a topic is hot or challenging that journalists seek out interesting people to interview, because they don't have the time nor the space in the newspaper to interview all the interesting people out there.

Enter the internet. In this world whatever you write or produce and published out on the internet is captured forever. Enter Web 2.0, and the tools I have been talking about enable this social web of chatter and more chatter. But the very unique and interesting thing is that this 'chatter' is that it is actually people reacting and interacting with a site and talking about it with other people. Other people, see this 'chatter' think hey I want to join in and the chinese whisper is recorded down in text and the conversation spreads like wildfire to a very large audience (hundreds, thousands, millions – if your good).

It does make you think about what you put down in text…hmmm

What has this got to do with "Deep infiltration of conversation in the new Web"?

Well, in the past if you went to a website and liked the content, you couldn't tell the owner about your feedback and more importantly comment on the content on the site, giving your opinions. Generally, owners of websites received feedback via a 'contact form' and you really didn't think that your comments would heard of or even taken seriously enough to have a full blown dicussion for others to join in.
However, with blogging you can post your knowledge on the web. Visitors can read this, comment, link to the post if they like and even subscribe to the content. Visitors can also talk about your post and provide a link to your post within their post. It's like a volunteer 'reciporcal' pat on the back on the content the blogger and the visitor have talked about on their blogs. (Great for the topic and even better for the writers).

Take a site like Newsvine…you can read, write and discuss the news. All this content being generated by users, gets spread out like 'fast auto-chinese whispers' (for science geeks out there, like neurons spreading the message from the brain) it's that fast, it's like a "conversation virus", out all over the web, as people talk about specific news and linking back and forth to the site and with each other, the conversation around just one article of news gets talked about not only on the site but spread out into the blogging community and beyond. This is deep infiltration. This is reaching everyday people and allowing masses of people to join in the conversation in small groups, like one big giant cocktail party with an open invitation to anyone that's interested. Guess what it's all free chatter that's traceable…

Whereas if you look at search engines, their rules make it so only the sites that have large traffic prevail, are the most famous (by their PR budget)… it's a cocktail party on invite (remember you have to look good too). In the social web, it is the most talked about that prevails (it's smart likeable content). 'Long conversations' are very important in Web 2.0, because to each person that enjoys passions in their lives they can reach out to more people, than they could ever meet in a lifetime, and share the same interests  with a large audience from all over the web and from different countries. You can also reach out to 'the' most amazing people, that talk about you (that you would never imagine in your dreams would want to talk about you)!!! ie. scobilzer mentioned minti in his blog!!! Cool eh?

The key thing here is that the social web allows, links and pages from the users creative works to be viewed by many people. Web 2.0 sites enable this, encourages interaction, collective discussion and input, which is all captured and sent out into the internet ready for anyone out there ready to jumb into the conversation. And you can search anytime at technorati or feedster on what is being talked about at this very minute.

It's free to talk and spread the word?… Now that's Powerful.

Share in innovative ways

May 6, 2006

What makes something successful? When many people collectively decide it is so. How many? It was 27 million for myspace. In Web 2.0, social networking has proven so far to work for the masses. myspace we all know, it not the first, remember AOL, Amazon and ebay. It must also, I believe innovate a target market, in this case the 'youth market'.

Why didn't Coke, Disney or MacDonalds come up with this myspace idea? It may be 'don't mix bricks with clicks' and that online strategies and new ideas are very different from the real world. The laws there don't apply here.

I think the key here is technology and it's ability to be harnessed by forward thinking business brains who often have a tech background. Conceive unique ways to do the same things in the real world but at powerful pace.

Youtube is another idea that the network powerhouses missed. Newsvine, Digg

Sharing in innovative ways comes from a continual experience of limitations and Web 2.0 provides a platform for a business mind to solve a social problem from the people up, not organisation out and get rid of those everyday limitations in real life by offering it online…you don't agree, then check out SecondLife.

What I am trying to arrive at is that I believe there is substance in Web 2.0 and for all it means and stands for…do life simpler, faster, just attract lots of eyeballs.

Open source technology and adsense has opened a pandora's box and enable new ways of sharing to be delivered faster, with a rush to open the Web 2.0 doors, saying come on in we are friends, no surveys or qualifying demographic questions, enjoy this cool social community for free…and often before the youth market analysis strategic meeting sessions at Coke have finished for the day.

Customize your experience

April 11, 2006

One powerful experience is the ability to maniulate the technology behind a Web 2.0′s user interface and customise it for your own ends. At a grass roots level, developers (people with the technical knowledge) can go to a particular site, like for example WordPress (who provide free personal webages in the form of a Web log “blog”) and allow changes to be made by an developer, adding features to the site, as well as the look and feel. At MobileGlu developers can gain access to the API and customise MobileGlu‘s technology and apply it to many uses and applications.

From wikipedia..

Two general lines of policies exist regarding publishing APIs:

  1. Some companies guard their APIs zealously. For example, Sony used to make its official PlayStation 2 API available only to licensed PlayStation developers. This is because Sony wanted to restrict how many people could write a PlayStation 2 game, and wanted to profit from them as much as possible. This is typical of companies who do not profit from the sale of API implementations (in this case, Sony broke-even on the sale of PlayStation 2 consoles and even took a loss on marketing, instead making it up through game royalties created by API licensing). However, PlayStation 3 is based entirely on open and publicly available APIs.
  2. Other companies propagate their APIs freely. For example, Microsoft deliberately makes most of its API information public, so that software will be written for the Windows platform. The sale of the third-party software sells copies of Microsoft Windows. This is typical of companies who profit from the sale of API implementations (in this case, Microsoft Windows, which is sold at a gain for Microsoft).

At a general user level, sites like Netvibes allows you to customise what data is streamed to your webpage and allows you to move around the information boxes you set up in any order, anywhere on the page. You are directly editing an area set up for you on Netvibes server. Unlike creating a website, were you have to upload it, with Netvibes you just type on the page in movable and editable boxes.

User interface: Cool tools

March 30, 2006

For me, I think the greatest change for the new web, is tools. Cool tools to be precise. Being able to use tools at a web 2.0 site that enables you to achieve many things is awesome. Things that make every day life easier.

Because my new world of parenting and technology has collided I am forever wishing for all my favorite things being in a logical and organised format, able to be accessed from one page. I have found it, and it's called Cingo!!!! The site aggregates personalised data into tabs. The main areas are "My homepage", Bookmarks, calendar, webmail, but what makes this site exciting is that the subsequent tabs have news, movies, travel, shopping, grocery list and the interface at each tab is a playground for pods, or widgets, (little areas of presented data that you can customise). I do personally think they should have a tab on Parenting Advice from Minti in RSS format of customisable article topics (of course I would say that, I am one of the co-founders of minti) :).

Back to user interfaces, I do strongly believe user interfaces need to offer something more than just information. The user interface (what you see and experience when visiting a website) needs to be interactive. It's great if sites focus on this core aspect of social networking, by offering RSS feeds (ability to subscribe to topics you want to), tag clouds (keywords relevant to the topic, more the keyword is attached to the topic, the larger the keyword gets and you can sometimes click on the tags to find the relevant content), ajax (registers changes without having to reload the page again), ability to add content and contribute, you are using the site more that just logging in or searching. I think it adds a 'fun factor'. The more fun you have, I believe the site's offering has really understood it's users.

Being able to subscribe to the content, cool community tools once you become a member, like at Cingo enhances the social aspect of not only interacting with the site (or user interface) but you also enhance that sense of belonging and feel compelled to interact with other members.

More family sites see my blog on Talking Tech on Family 2.0…Info on explaining the new web, "the truth about Web 2.0" by Paul Graham and "Wired's worse story comes true" and "Web 2.0" by Paul Boutin. Cool sites being talked about everyday, see "Techcrunch" by Michael Arrington.

Minimal restriction

March 4, 2006

What? At a deeper level? To give an example of a site giving the visitor minimal restriction to add content we would have to take a look at Wikipedia.org

You would be familiar with Encyclopedia Britannica volumes of hardback bound books of articles detailing and description every topic and subject matter of the world. Have you ever imagined who wrote the content in these books? You would most likely say, paid academics or people on respected enough to write on for or within Britannica.

Say there where many thousands of academics and people in professions around the world able to contribute to an article on a particular subject, say ‘Egyptian Mummies’, the callaboration and quest to provide the most up-to-date information, as well as detail would be one big motivation. If you are passionate about something you want to provide input. Wikipedia is an amazing place were anyone can go to an article and edit the information. The community moderates the articles, but in essence anyone can add information to a particular topic. The power to do this is phenomenal to an every day person, let alone a tech head. If you do want to add your own article an area it is only one article which is then built upon and added to by the community or visitors. At some level you must be a member, and rules exist, but anyone can be apart of contributing to building the worlds largest and free online encylopedia!

Minimal restriction to add at it’s best. Your content you add is stored on Wikipedia’s servers. Buidling data on their database. Does this makes sense?

The same for another site; Bubbleshare you can upload photos and create albumns to share with family and friends. Again, your photos are stored on Bubbleshare’s photos for free, building a big database of photos. Can you see how exciting this is. No more paying for services and better still they are so easy to use!!!

Why are they free? Because Google has created an affiliate ad program for sites that helps keep it free. Like TV advertising it pays for Free to Air TV. (Here in Ozzie Land).

Characteristics making up the new web

February 20, 2006

Having had a bit of a study on Tim’s article, more things began to gel. It is definitely a challange to translate the information into laymens terms and concepts. So please be nice.

Characteristics

  • Minimal Restriction. Users can add information, at a deeper level, to the actual content the site offers.
  • The user interface has many cool mini services that allow you to get more juice from the site’s offering.
  • Some Web 2.0 sites allow programmers access to the software to customise their experience.
  • Web 2.0 sites gives the user the ability to share and receive information in many innovative ways.
  • Deep penetration into the internet. Links/pages from the users creative works can be view by many people.
  • A users popularity comes by social consensus.
  • More detailed data on topics in society are being created. Many angles, views, comments and opinions are giving a collective mass of information with depth.
  • Gives the user the ability to be unique and special, thriving on self expression these sites encourage.
  • The web is now focused on being inter-connected at a social level. Web 2.0 sites are providing the technology of ‘social software’. Connecting the activity of social interaction in a tight and global network. Thus, creating a solid base or platform from which we can interact with a multitude of others, rather than a ‘spider’ web with many holes and relying on chance.
  • As the community grows in scale and the more people using the software increases, this naturally creates an environment where the software can only get better. Why? More features and tools are accepted and adopted at a rapid rate if they are popular by the community as a whole.
  • There is a lot of trust by the site’s creators to allow the community to build and contribute to the data. They can shape the meaning and uses of the data within, instead of this being done by employees.
  • There is an ‘attitude’ were the community acts as one voice and drives the experience.
  • The content created by the community is unique and hard to replicate.
  • It is a richer user experience. Addictive.
  • New features and tools are being trialled all the time by the community, which keeps the technology on the edge.
  • We will see a trend from being able to access, not just from the web, but over hand-held devices or TV.
  • Users have a say in how data is organised, attaching a ‘keyword’ that describes the data created. Users can attach many ‘keywords’ to one peice of information. The result is a ‘collective organisation’ of relevant information.

Like any new fashionable term, I think Web 2.0 could almost be like the fashion industry, take the 80′s, 90′s and mix it up to create a new style and trend for 00′s…more importantly, if it fills a need and it does something different that appeals to users and has substance, I think Web 2.0 sites like this may have a chance.

A well respected authority on Web 2.0

February 19, 2006

In my attempt to make it easier to understand what Web 2.0 is, I turn to the most well respected authority on the matter and his name is Tim O'Reilly, from O'Reilly Media. His 5 page piece on "Design Patterns & Business Models for the Next Generation Software" explains Web 2.0 applications and business concept in detail.

However, if you put me on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 being the most techie web-orientated (hardware and software) then I would be about a 5.5. On business models using hardware and software for the web, I would be a 9.5.

This article to me, amazing as it was to read, gave me brain freezes over the really hardcore techie parts, that my husband and I leave to our key developers to educate us (programming languages, design patterns and hardware etc.)

I will attempt to explain, and refer to Tim's article a lot on this blog. My intended audience target are people who would be a 2 or 3 out of ten and understand some of my blog so far. Stay tuned.

The rise of blogging

February 19, 2006

Before I explain what Web 2.0 is. I need to explain the rise and popularity of blogging. The term blogging comes from “Web Log”. Dropping the ‘We’ you get ‘blog’. The act of writing, is ‘blogging’. It is personal page that anyone can read, join or post comments if allowed. It is were the owner is the author of their own material. It is an online journal and this site is an example of one.

There are now thousands of web logs or journals, called Blogs. Even directories storing people’s blogs in their databases to allow users to search. Sites such as Technorati and Blogexplosion.com

This enabled anyone without much technical know-how to set up their own personal blog and connect with others doing the same thing.The reason why I needed to explain ‘Blogging’ is that it is prodominently a ‘social sharing’ activity.

Web 2.0 is the term to describe web sites that offer a real active community environment, not just a place to interact with other members and general visitors evey now and then. You are encouraged to use features that keep you connected and sharing each time you use the site.

This engagement is addictive, because rewards are so immediate and self satisfying. In this real community environment members are able to achieve a ‘well respected or popular’ social status within that community. It’s like the a collectively moderated ‘reality TV on steriods’. What supports this new social networking era is this new way we are using the web.

It is the coming together of open source technology (where programmers are able to view how a piece of software works and use that formula to make their own versions) without having to ask for permission. You can’t see what is behind Microsoft Outlook that gives Outlook it’s great features, because it’s kept as a secret. Open Source allows an environment of a ‘collective improvement of technology’ by developers ALL over the web, rather than a software company’s employees.

Basically, open source gives programmers and developers of software the ability to create many types of functionalites and cool features that you use on a web site, clicking around. The more you enjoy the site, the more you realize it is easier to use. One key success factor is that the site is enjoyable because it HAS more features for you to pay with and with more and more speed with which you experience it. A lot of thought and development has gone into creating that highly efficient user experience.

The easier to create those experiences with many individually created applications would be a tiresome task if you had to re-invent the wheel again and had to start from scratch because you couldn’t see someone else code (computer language that creates software). With open source it allows you to create many variations and customise each feature to each individual site. It’s faster and more efficient (not to mention more cost effective) of bringing more products to market on the web.

The aim of the new Web 2.0 technology is to create features, functionality and experiences on the web site that encourages ‘social networking’ at a rapid rate. The bigger the site scales the more productive the technology behind it is.

Stumbled onto Web 2.0

February 19, 2006

Having been involved as a co-owner in a previous internet start up, now being run by our CEO. I had officially stopped dabbling in the internet in 2003 and had a baby in 2004. Not being able to squash entrepreneaurial blood, I had ideas flooding to me and I began a hard copy journal capturing them. (Don’t ask me about the ‘mango slicer hehe)

In May 2005, whilst in Sydney, reading a ‘Wired’ Mag, I read a short excerpt on Wikipedia. What Wikipedia is “the largest free encylopedia online”. The exciting catch was that any visitor to the web site could edit and update any topic like ‘Comanche Indians” with the view to making it more accurate. My idea and possibilities of how Wikipedia used client/server technology mulled together the week I returned home to Perth.

The concept of chatting, buying and selling, being a member to a site, making friends on the internet via discussion groups, is now a well understood practice. But, what about a site dedicated to allowing users make changes to the site’s content themselves, and posting articles about specific topics they enjoy writing about, for the world to see? This new radical trend to allow users the ability to be in control of a community was shaped was in part, liberating and amazing.

I was buzzed. Social sharing was a great idea. At that time I only knew of Wikipedia.org with it’s radical way of keeping an encyclopedia relevant and updated in real time. It seemed like there was an innovation happening. Back in May 2005, I began to fashion together a business plan. My tarket market for a social sharing site, were non-techies and spending $5k on research from marketresearch.com, was THE scariest thing I have ever done.

I got my husband buzzed, and more and more research began to happen during that year. He stumbled on the term Web 2.0 and how this space was beginning to heat up.

We got into this space without realizing it and the opening of our eyes into this new world of Web 2.0 has made it even more exciting. It’s all the things my husband and I would dream about. Now we are nervous and excited about our new start up, which we are about to launch shortly. We are confident it will excite our intended target market and become a sustainable company.

What is Web 2.0 in simple terms?


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.