Although the term Web 2.0 might suggest a new version of the World Wide Web, it actually refers to changes in the way software developers and end-users use the web as a platform.
Web 2.0 basically refers to a two way communication between the users using the web as a platform. The phrase was first used by O’Reilly Media in 2003 and was popularized by the first Web 2.0 conference in the following year. It may be explained as information exchange and networking among the web users through web-based communities and hosted services like social-networking sites and wikis.
Participation is one of the key characteristics of web 2.0. Participation, in this context, means the enrichment of a website by user generated content. This is one of the defining features that differentiates Web 2.0 from Web1.0. Earlier, websites served simply as static information display mediums and the communication was one-sided. Options to edit, comment or add more to the existing content were almost non-existent. Web 2.0 has empowered the users to take part in the process of content generation.
Convergence is another interesting feature in Web 2.0. It allows users to interact with like-minded users to exchange information or to discuss various issues using the web as a platform.
Web 2.0 makes use of techniques like RIA (Rich Internet Applications) including Ajax based CSS, semantically valid HTML markup and microformats, Syndication and aggregation of data in RSS/Atom (by yermiyayeva), Folksonomies (through tags or tagclouds), Wiki software and Open source software (such as the LAMP solution stack) which facilitate faster and more convenient information exchange.
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