Short definition of Web2.0

Short definitions are the most difficult. Being put under duress I finally completed this one on web2.0. What do you think?

The standardized open communications platform allowed for the development of a diverse range of web-based applications that have been collectively defined as Web2.0 applications. The concept of Web2.0 focuses on the changing role of the user from a ‘passive’ consumer of information to a more active role as information contributor.

The main change between Web1.0 and 2.0 in relation to this is the growth of alternative information sources outside the control of traditional media. With an increasing simplification in web applications ordinary users increasingly have the ability to make, store and communicate their content online. This contributory culture may take many forms from the sharing of copyrightable material to writing and collecting of product and service reviews.

Many of the most popular Web2.0 sites have in a relatively short period of time become some of the most important online sites. Since its conception in 1999 the World Wide Web has been a platform for communication and collaboration. However the main period of Web2.0 development came after the new millennium.

In addition to the changing role of the user into information contributor the Web2.0 umbrella has come to include the increasingly popular social networking applications that allow users to easily connect and communicate with each other.

The use of the web as a platform for simplified personal communication can be said to originate with blogging (the term was first used around 1997). The next big steps in user production came with the launch of Wikipedia in 2001, the Flickr photo sharing site in 2004 and the video-sharing site YouTube in 2005. Social networking milestones include the launch of Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006.

This form of social networking focuses on building online communities of people with commons interests, the advantage of these new sites lies in the simplicity of their web-based applications made available to the users at no cost. Concerns about privacy have been raised due to the practice of social networking sites to store and use information (Grimmelmann 2009).

Web2.0 has been criticized, by among others Tim Berners Lee, as being only a piece of jargon not really adding anything to the concept of the web (Laningham 2006). While others (e.g. Keen 2007) have criticized it for being amateurish productions, narcissistic in focus and leading in the long run to the demise of traditional professional media.

However despite the criticism of the terminology the practice of user generated content and social networking is here to stay.

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