Archive for February, 2006

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.

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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?

What does Web 2.0 Blankie mean?

February 19, 2006

Web 2.0 Blankie is a site for people who need laymens terms to replace the high tech jargon that can swallow you up into the depths of Web 2.0 and explain simply what all the buzz words mean to every day people.

As this blog grows, it will act as a blankie, I suggest bookmarking this site (I recommend Del.icio.us) in keeping this site with you as a reference point.

My aim hopefully is to help people learn more about this new exciting space on the internet, as it is really thriving. It will be only a matter of time before it will hit the early adopters all around the world not just in the US.

An introduction…

February 19, 2006

Welcome to Web 2.0 Blankie. I am Rachel Cook, Founder of a Web 2.0 start up (due to launch very shortly) and an advocate for ’social networking’.The latest technology innovations in the past couple of years, in web-based applications have facilitated people communicating at a higher level than I have ever seen before.

Now dubbed the second web, the positive impact on society is huge. The feeling of getting something back from being part of an active community online, is something really lacking in our real society today. Time for a genuine chat over the backyard fence, is a thing of the past.

It appears many people are turning to their computers, feeling disjointed, fragmented citizens, with only superficial polite discussion to show you had a good day, we seem to be just too busy to invest in more than anything else. Our real relationship with our ‘bricks & mortar’ society is unstable. How many people do you interact with each day that really ‘dig’ YOU.

It’s now the ‘Clicks & more Clicks society’ gaining enormous momentum and popularity. It’s triggering a flurry, with social sites being launch everyday. All us netizens can do is lap it up.

Web 2.0 technology is giving us cool tools that makes us feel like the whole web is our backyard connected to many backyards. You feel plugged in and you have many choices to be part of many active communities who are refreshingly welcoming and willing to say hello.