What is Web 2.0?

The original World-Wide Web ('The Web', WWW, or 'Web 1.0') was a collection of mostly static websites that published information. You could visit the sites, read the webpages, look at the pictures, but you couldn't really interact with the site: you couldn't login, leave comments, tag images, discuss things, etc. The original Web was a mostly one-way experience where information was delivered to you.

'Web 2.0' (pronounced "web two-point-oh") is the (slightly annoying) name given to the the recent development of interactive websites that are quite different to the old, static websites.

Many websites on the Web today allow users to:
  • share information (e.g. notes and photos on Facebook)
  • interact (add comments, chat, etc.)
  • collaborate on content (e.g. creating pages on Wikipedia)
  • create their own content (e.g. videos on YouTube)
Web 2.0 is often called the 'Social Web' because of the way that users can interact and share. It's also been called the 'Read-Write Web' because much of the content is now written by users (they're not just reading)
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Blogs and Blogging

A blog is a website where someone (usually a normal person - not a professional writer) writes about a topic.

Blogs can be personal (someone writing about their own life, or their personal views), based on an interest (e.g. football), or some businesses also use blogs to write about new products, etc.
A blog allows someone to be a writer and publisher on the Web with very little effort or cost. A blog can be setup with just a few clicks, whereas a few years ago you'd need a lot of technical knowledge to create your own website.

Many blogs have systems that allow readers to leave comments and begin discussions connected with the blog posts.
Blogging (the act of writing a blog) has become very popular over the past decade or so (there are well over 200 million unique blogs).

Some blogs are very popular and have hundreds of thousands of readers, but many are only read by a tiny number of readers (probably just the writer's family and friends!)
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Blogs allow people to publish their views and opinions very easily, without anyone else checking what they are writing. For this reason, it is very important that you do not take the viewpoints expressed on blogs as facts - they are just one person's opinion and maybe factually very wrong.
The word 'blog' is an abbreviation of 'web log'.

A 'log' is a place where a list of information is written down, so a 'web log' is a place where people write a list of things on the Web.

Each entry on a blog is called a post.
The website Technorati measures the popularity of blogs.
One form of blogging, where people publish very short posts, is known as 'Micro-blogging'.

The most well-known micro-blog is Twitter.

Many famous celebrities use Twitter to let the world know what they are up to, e.g. Ashton Kutcher


A wiki is a website that allows users to collaborate (work together) to create the content. The pages of a wiki can be edited by everyone (or those who have the password) so that different people can add to the page, edit things, fix errors, etc.

Wikis often automatically create automatic links between pages. E.g. if a wiki page exists called 'Camels' and you write the word 'camel', the word will become a link to the Camel page. This feature means that wikis are very useful for creating sites containing lots of connected information.

Wikis are used for websites such as:
Because many people can edit pages on a wiki, you have to be aware that the information you read may not be entirely accurate - sometimes people edit pages and write things that are wrong. Usually the errors are noticed and fixed by other wiki users, but not always.
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The most famous wiki is wikipedia - a user-created encyclopaedia.
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Many people do not trust Wikipedia because anyone can edit the pages. However because so many people check the pages so often, errors are usually fixed within hours. Many studies have found Wikipedia to be as accurate and reliable as other (non-wiki) encyclopaedia websites

Media Uploading Sites

There are many websites that allow users to create, upload and share their own media such as photos, music or video. Usually other users can rate or comment on the media that is uploaded leading to these sites often being referred to as 'Social Media' sites.

All media upload sites have rules about the type of media that you can upload - you have to either own the copyright to the image / music / video yourself, or have permission from the copyright owner.
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The most famous video upload site is YouTube.
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Video upload sites are especially popular. However the videos that are uploaded can sometimes contain offensive scenes (this is why YouTube is blocked in so many schools).
Some popular media upload sites:

Social Networks

A social network website is a site that allows user to connect with other users who are friends / relatives, or who share similar interests.

Connected users can then share information / pictures / files with each other, send messages, chat, etc.
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One of the biggest social networking websites is Facebook.
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For many people, social networking sites are the main method of communicating with friends online.

In fact social networks have surpassed e-mail as the main communication link for non-business Web users
Other examples of popular social networking sites:

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