Web 2.0 is a term used to distinguish the difference between the early standards of web design used when the Internet first became publicly popular, and the distinct changes made to web design beginning around 2001. Read on for more specifics about Web 2.0, what it is and how it changed everything.
The Origin of the Term “Web 2.0”
The term “web 2.0” was first used during a 2004 brainstorming session between Tim O’Reilly and MediaLive International. They were discussing the fact that the Internet had changed and grown into something different than it was before. They agreed to call this set of changes Web 2.0, and that’s what they called the conference they were creating: The Web 2.0 Conference.
The term went viral (though no one was using the term “viral” in reference to the Internet back in those days). Soon, everyone was touting their new Web 2.0 design.
What Web 2.0 Isn’t
Web 2.0 isn’t an updated version of an operating system or software program, but it got its name based on the tradition of naming each concurrent system or program with a number (for instance, OS X version 10.8 replaced OS X version 10.7).
Though O’Reilly called it Web 2.0, it isn’t the same as referring to Apple’s latest operating system. It’s a much bigger concept. The Internet didn’t just go from one “version” to a second “version.” Instead, the whole way of doing things changed. The “version” of the Web is continually evolving.
What Web 2.0 Is
As more people began purchasing home computers in the early 2000s, and technology made it possible to inexpensively increase storage, speed, and power, the Internet began to organically evolve to interact with people. For instance:
Britannica Online was very popular in the early days of public Internet use. People were excited that they could find all the information from an encyclopedia right from home. Now, Wikipedia offers a vast, encyclopedic database full of information. The difference? Wikipedia is created by the public—anyone can create, add to or edit a Wikipedia page. Britannica was simply a set of pages with information on the—Wikipedia is interactive.
Web 2.0 offers richer content. Google Maps are a great example. Instead of just pulling up an area map and looking at it, you can zoom in and out and even see a street view.
What Web 2.0 Means for Marketing
It’s not enough to have a website with a few static pages on it. People expect to find rich content. How-to videos, a blog where customers can read about your industry and comment, an interactive Google map to show customers your location are just a few examples.
Marketing goes beyond your website now. Participating in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, and other sites is a good way to interact with customers online. You’ll also find that your customers review and rate your company online on sites such as Yelp!