Defining Web 2.0

It’s probably long past time to write some definitions.  In fact, I’ve done this before, probably every time I write a post about Web 2.0. A few years ago, I said that Web 2.0 would not be on the radar screens of HR for a couple of years, and sure enough, the last couple of years has seen a huge rise in interest about Web 2.0 and I think that the implementations are starting to grow at a fairly rapid pace.  We should see the first true wave (not a pre-wave) of Web 2.0 implementations starting to go live just about now.

But that still begs the question that I think lots of HR people grapple with:  What is Web 2.0?  Basically, the answer is simple and falls into 4 simple categories:

  1. Web 2.0 helps us connect with each other:  This is the easiest to define since most of us who are interested in Web 2.0 are already on facebook, linked in or twitter.  We already have social networks we participate in on-line, and enterprise Web 2.0 has the same technologies behind the firewall.
  2. Web 2.0 helps us deliver content:  Anyone who is reading this blog is familiar with this.  Web 2.0 helps us publish our content on blogs, wikis and other social media tools.
  3. Web 2.0 helps us receive content:  I have debated whether RSS feeds are dead (this blog has not had any growth in the RSS feed for a couple years I think), but wither it’s RSS, your twitter feed, or your daily updates when you log into facebook telling you what all your friends are up to, Web 2.0 collects information from many people or many sources and aggregates it all for you in one place.
  4. Web 2.0 helps us organize content:  The last is possibly the hardest to see, but included in Web 2.0 technologies are things like tagging.  Tagging is a technology that helps us create dynamic “catalogs” of user based content and user based structures that constantly change based on the dynamic flow of content and ideas through the web.  Unlike “hard-coded catalogs like “Windows Explorer” on your PC, Web 2.0 tags will continually evolve.

Those are my 4 easy steps to understanding Web 2.0.  Anyone think I missed anything?

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3 thoughts on “Defining Web 2.0”

  1. Dubs
    another nice way to understand Web 2.0 I read somewhere was the acronym SLATES, with each letter standing for

    Search – lets users search for information
    Links – linkages to other websites
    Authoring – can have many authors or has comments
    Tagging – creating tags or taxonomies
    Extensions – extends from a application to a document
    Signals – RSS features to enable change notification

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