What Is Web 2.0

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Design Patterns and Business Models for the Nexter Generation of Software by Tim O'Reilly (09/30/2005)

An excellent article elaborating the concepts and ideas behind the term "Web 2.0". O'Reilly focuses on the Web as a platform, claiming that a platform beats an application every time.

He introduces architectures of participation (pay people, ask volunteers to perform the task, P2P sharing) and emphasis the importance of data as the driving force of Web 2.0. Simple API's and protocols enable user participation (e.g. REST vs. SOAP) and therefore pave the way for valuable user generated content.

From O'Reilly's point of view the core competencies of a Web 2.0 company are:

  • Services, instead of packaged software (google vs. microsoft)
  • Control over unique, hard to create data sources, that get richer as more people use them (Amazon; Reviews, etc.)
  • Trusting users as co-developers
  • Harnessing collective intelligence
  • Leveraging the long tail through customer self service (Google ads)
  • Software above a single device (Skype)
  • Lightweight user interfaces, development models, and business models

Excellence in once of the above areas might outperform small steps in all seven... ;)