Ask The Pro: What is Web 2.0?

This month’s Pro is Mike Weinand, Web Application Developer at OnYourMark, LLC. Mike explains what Web 2.0 is all about.

What is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 (pronounced “web two-point-oh” or “web two-dot-oh”) is a concept that means different things to different people.  To designers, it means new, more modern graphics for websites.  For developers, it means focusing on interactivity. For users, Web 2.0 means participation.

Web 2.0 is the transformation from browsing the web to participation in the web. New technologies allow web content to be decided by its users. Instead of proprietary sources providing news, content or search results, Web 2.0 is driven by user submitted stories. Blogging and RSS feeds allow users to send and receive content faster than ever. Consider the differences between these Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 sites:

Site Type Web 1.0 Web 2.0
Information Encyclopaedia Britannica – Information is updated by a few in the know Wikipedia – Anyone can add and update content
Search Google Search – Results are determined by a proprietary ranking system del.icio.us – Results are based on sites users have “tagged” as relevant to the searched topic
News CNN.com – Content is created by CNN journalists Digg.com – Top ranked stories are voted on by Digg users
Advertising DoubleClick – Offers advertising for web publishers to place on their sites; requires extensive campaign maintenance and is geared towards large websites Google AdSense – Self-serves ads based on a page’s content, can be used on any size of website

Web 2.0 sites implement new technologies such as AJAX to make the user experience more enjoyable. One example of this is Google Spreadsheet, which allows multiple users to edit the same document at the same time. Cascading style sheets (CSS) allow web designers to use colors and images more effectively on the web.

Web 2.0 affects online advertising and internet marketing. Instead of paying per impression when advertising online, it is now possible to pay per action. Advertising avenues such as pay-per-call are being tested. Marketing websites via blogs, forums and other social networking methods bring word-of-mouth advertising to the web.

Is your website Web 2.0 functional, or making strides to get there? There are many things you can do to bring your site into the Web 2.0 world:

  • Redesign: Does your site look outdated, or does it not match your current literature and print media? It may be time for a face lift.
  • Content Updates: Use your website’s blog to post company news, press releases, MSDS, industry articles and more. A big part of Web 2.0 is keeping your site current.
  • Video: If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? Show your products in action and provide tutorials with online video.
  • Social Networking: “Tag” your site with tools like Digg and del.icio.us. Offer social networking on your website via forums or user-updateable photo galleries.

The web is no longer a one way street, and we are always happy to help you take your website to the next level.

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What would you like to ask the pro? Email your questions toaskthepro@OnYourMark.com!

Phone/Text: 262-853-7900

Organizer, Wisconsin Business Owners

Founder & CEO, OnYourMark, LLC

Author, WebForging, A Practical Guide to the Art of Forging Your Web Presence

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