While the Web has always been a tool for collaboration, only in the last few years has software permitted individuals to use it as a platform for true collaborative activities. Web 2.0 is about users and content, instead of just surfing on the Internet. It's about what the Internet can do for an active collaborator, rather than a passive viewer.
Web 2.0 Technologies
Web 2.0 technologies are changing the way messages spread across the Web. A number of online tools and platforms are now defining how people share their perspectives, opinions, thoughts and experiences. Web 2.0 tools such as weblogs, RSS, video casting, social bookmarking, social networking, podcasts and picture sharing sites are becoming more and more popular. One major advantage of Web 2.0 tools is that the majority of them are free.
There are a large number of Web 2.0 tools, some of the more popular ones are:
Using Web 2.0 Tools
If an individual was interested in video games, they might search a podcast submission Web site (like Podcast.net) and download an audio review of a game to listen to on their computer. A Podcast is syndicated audio, or video produced by traditional media such as radio and television or by individuals passionate about a particular subject.
They may then decide to comment about this audio review on their Blogger or Wordpress blog. A blog or Weblog, is a chronological, online diary. Individuals can subscribe to a person's blog, which allows them to read it and to write comments in response to blog posts.
If this weblog has an RSS feed in place, subscribers to the blog can choose to be automatically notified of this new blog post. RSS (or Really Simple Syndication), is a method for delivering regularly changing Web content. Many blogs and Internet publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to allow people to subscribe to it easily.
This individual may decide that they would like more people to be able to see and remark on the blog post. They could do this by submitting the blog post to a social bookmarking site like Del.icio.us. Social bookmarking sites are Web sites that allow shared lists of user-created Internet bookmarks to be displayed and commented on. Social bookmarking sites allow you to organize your bookmarks by allocating a number of 'tags' to them. This makes it easy for other people who may be interested in a particular group to find related bookmarks. For example, if the tag 'games reviews' was added to a bookmark, people searching the bookmark site for 'games reviews' information could easily find it.
People who visit the bookmark site for this 'games review' tag are likely to see your bookmark. As more people find your bookmark and comment on it, you'll find yourself part of a collection of people who have a shared interest in video games - You are now 'social networking' and this is why some social bookmark sites like Digg are also classed as social networking sites.
About the Author
Paul Scott has written a five part Web 2.0 tools training course.
Original: December 16, 2008