The concept of Web 2.0 was originally devised by Tim O’Reilly at a web conference brainstorming session, where it was noted that the bursting the dot-com bubble in 2001 had not ‘crashed’ the Web but allowed it to reinvent itself, thus was born not only the first Web 2.0 conference but the phrase itself.
If there is a concept called Web 2.0, and with Google posting 9.5 million plus citations of the term, then we must accept the concept to be true. We must assume therefore that the precursor to Web 2.0 was Web 1.0. This early innovation of the web existed in a format that one-way commonly provided users with the provision to access information in static, non-interactive formats, where the information content of the site could only be uploaded or altered by the site owner.
The second generation of the development of the World Wide Web would then logically be Web 2.0. This evolution of web technologies has been exemplified by interaction, facilitating the emergence of social media platforms, a collection of collaborative conduits, centered upon the foundation of providing user-driven, interpersonal content. As Tim O’Reilly explained, Web 2.0 relates to people engaged in making connections with others through:
Forums, OLJ for example
Blogs, similar to Twitter
Wikis similar to Wikipedia
Social networking formats, such as Facebook
The acknowledged creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee labeled the term Web 2.0 as jargon, and states that the idea of the Web was initially and still is interaction between people where they can “interact”. Critics label the concept of Web 2.0 as “a cult of amateurism” and creating a “endless forest of mediocrity and uninformed commentary” as well as inviting exploitation by companies and increased government surveillance of users.
These criticisms may have some validity, but “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, it does not matter what the movement is called, Web 2.0 or any other name, it will not affect the transformation of interactive association that has occurred in education, marketing, business, media and social interaction due to the Web 2.0. As Strategic Business Insights suggests the 2 in Web 2.0 may very well represent the two-way communication that has developed between its users.
O’Reilly, T. (2005), What is Web 2.0? Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Retrieved from: