This post is part of my new resolution to post at least once a week, every week on this site. Sometimes I'll write about purely personal things, sometimes I'll write about things that interest me, who knows what it will be? The point is, there will always be something here, every week, by Wednesday. This week: Web 2.0, and how it impacts you.
Web 2.0 is a big buzzword, it's all about AJAX, Ruby on Rails, social networking, vertical integration, and mass adoption of web technologies as tools. It's marketingspeak for “the same old crap we've been doing forever”.
Jeffery Zeldman on “A List Apart” says of Web 3.0:
In addition to favoring simpler solutions built by leaner teams, the stuff labeled “Web 2.0” tends to have technological commonalities.
On the back end, it is most often powered by open source technologies like PHP or (especially) Ruby on Rails.
When web standards with a little Microsoft stuff thrown in are used to create pages that can interact with the server without refreshing, the result is web apps that feel peppy and, dare we say it, Flash-like. In a white paper that actually got read, writer/consultant Jesse James Garrett named what I’ve just described. He called it AJAX, and the acronym not only took, it helped interactivity powered by these technologies gain traction in the marketplace.
The thing I find kind of interesting is that a lot of these sites are starting to look similar. Del.Icio.US looks very similar to Flikr. Ma.Gnolia and BoxCloud have similar looks. The UI of newer upstarts like FileMobile and VOX share looks. Digg, the new “Social Networked” Netscape, and ShoutWire all look very similar.
The clever naming schemes like Del.Icio.US really annoy me, and make me long for the old days of Web 1.0.
Now how does Web 2.0 impact you? Simple, small, dedicated teams are creating tons of useful tools every day that allow you, the user, to do everything from host a photo gallery, to upload your personal videos, to easily set up a web log.
Web 2.0 is about useful applications which are web based, and therefore easily update able. There are still tons of applications waiting to be built. Where's the Web 2.0 version of iTunes (where my account is associated with my device, not the computer which I use to upload my music from)? Where's my easy to use web interface that ties into my Media Centre?
I find all of this stuff interesting because the web has suddenly come back in vogue (although in reality it never left) and it's largely because of stuff that's been around for a number of years, but now has a buzz word attached to it.
UPDATE: I just stumbled across a really cool article on Pixel Acres called “The Visual Design of Web 2.0“.