MVI was founded and began during the Web 1.0 era and the reason we have survived and grown is because we have acclimated to the new technologies as delivered by Web 2.0. We encourage you to speak with our Web 2.0 experts for more information on how we can take your web presences to Web 3.0.

Web 2.0 replaced Web 1.0 during the dot-com bust in the fall of 2001. The stock market concluded that the web was over bought. Those movers and shakers in the Internet industry used this bust to automate and improved the technologies used. Hence this date is marked as moving from Web 1.0 to the next stage of Internet development called Web 2.0. The dot.com bubble burst typically mark the point where a new rising technology Web 2.0 surpassed the older technology Web 1.0.

Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O’Reilly Media in 2004, refers to a perceived or proposed second generation of Internet-based services-such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies-that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users. O’Reilly Media, in collaboration with MediaLive International, used the phrase as a title for a series of conferences, and since 2004 some technicians and marketers have adopted the phrase. In a year and a half after, the term “Web 2.0” has clearly taken hold, with more than 9.5 million citations in Google. But there’s still a huge amount of disagreement about just what Web 2.0 means, with some people decrying it as a meaningless marketing buzzword, and others accepting it as the new conventional wisdom.

Alluding to the version-numbers that commonly designate software upgrades, the phrase “Web 2.0” hints at an improved form of web development. Supporters suggest that technologies such as web logs, social book marking, wikis, pod casts, RSS feeds, social software, Web APIs, Web standards and online Web services imply a significant change in web usage. Proponents, state that the phrase “Web 2.0” can also refer to one or more of the following:

  • The transition of websites from isolated information silos to sources of content and functionality, thus becoming computing platforms serving web applications to end-users
  • A social phenomenon embracing an approach to generating and distributing Web content itself, characterized by open communication, decentralization of authority, freedom to share and re-use, and “the market as a conversation”
  • Enhanced organization and categorization of content, emphasizing deep linking
  • A rise in the economic value of the Web, possibly surpassing the impact of the dot-com boom of the late 1990s

Characteristics of “Web 2.0”

While interested parties continue to debate the definition of a Web 2.0 application, a Web 2.0 web-site may exhibit some basic characteristics. These might include:

  • Network as platform- delivering applications entirely through a browser.
  • Users owning the data on the site and exercising control over that data.
  • An architecture of participation and democracy that encourages users to add value to the application as they use it.
  • A rich, interactive, user-friendly interface based on Ajax or similar frameworks.
  • Social-networking aspects.
  • The concept of Web-as-participation-platform captures many of these characteristics.

Technology

The complex and evolving technology infrastructure of Web 2.0 includes server-software, content-syndication, messaging-protocols, standards-based browsers with plugins and extensions, and various client-applications. These differing but complementary approaches provide Web 2.0 with information-storage, creation, and dissemination capabilities that go beyond what the public formerly expected of web-sites. Web 2.0 websites may typically feature a number of the following techniques:

  • Rich Internet application techniques, optionally Ajax-based CSS
  • Semantically valid XHTML markup and/or the use of Microformats
  • Syndication and aggregation of data in RSS/Atom
  • Clean and meaningful URLs
  • Extensive use of tags or tag clouds, for example
  • Use of wiki software either completely or partially
  • Weblog publishing
  • Mashups
  • REST or XML Webservice

The user-experience afforded by Ajax has prompted the development of web-sites that mimic personal computer applications, such as word processing, the spreadsheet, and slide-show presentation. WYSIWYG wiki sites replicate many features of PC authoring applications. Still other sites perform collaboration and project management functions. Java enables sites that provide computationally intensive video capability.

Browser-based “operating systems” or “online desktops” have also appeared. They essentially function as application platforms, not as operating systems. These services mimic the user experience of desktop operating-systems, offering features and applications similar to a PC environment. They have, as their distinguishing characteristic, the ability to run within any modern browser. Numerous web based application services appeared during the dot-com bubble of 1997-2001 and then vanished, having failed to gain a critical mass of customers.

Recently, Internet application techniques such as Ajax, Adobe Flash, Flex and OpenLaszlo have evolved that can improve the user-experience in browser-based applications. These technologies allow a web-page to request an update for some part of its content, and to alter that part in the browser, without needing to refresh the whole page at the same time.

The functionality of Web 2.0 rich Internet applications builds on the existing Web server architecture, but puts much greater emphasis on back-end software. Syndication differs only nominally from the methods of publishing using dynamic content management, but web services typically require much more robust database and workflow support, and become very similar to the traditional intranet functionality of an application server. Vendor approaches to date fall under either a universal server approach, which bundles most of the necessary functionality in a single server platform, or a web-server plugin approach, which uses standard publishing tools enhanced with API interfaces and other tools.

The extra functionality provided by Web 2.0 depends on the ability of users to work with the data stored on servers. This can come about through forms in an HTML page, through a scripting language such as Javascript, or through Flash or Java. These methods all make use of the client computer to reduce the server workload.

The first and the most important step of evolution towards Web 2.0 involves the syndication of site content, using standardized protocols which permit end-users to make use of a site’s data in another context, ranging from another web-site, to a browser plugin, or to a separate desktop application. Protocols which permit syndication include RSS (Really Simple Syndication – also known as “web syndication”), RDF (as in RSS 1.1), and Atom, all of them flavors of XML. Specialized protocols such as FOAF and XFN (both for social networking) extend functionality of sites or permit end-users to interact without centralized web-sites.

Web communication protocols provide a key element of the Web 2.0 infrastructure. Major protocols include REST and SOAP. REST (Representational State Transfer) indicates a way to access and manipulate data on a server using the HTTP verbs GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE SOAP involves POSTing XML messages and requests to a server that may contain quite complex, but pre-defined instructions for the server to follow

In both cases, an API defines access to the service. Often servers use proprietary APIs, but standard web-service APIs have also come into wide use. Most communications with web services involve some form of XML (eXtensible Markup Language). Web Services Description Language (WSDL) and the list of web-service specifications for links to many other web-service standards, including those many whose names begin ‘WS-‘.