(pronounced: web-two-oh, you don't say two point zero)
The name for the next-generation of Web and Internet applications circa 2005, it refers to the to the second, more social generation of the Internet. This term Web 2.0 is both widely and loosely used; it is not an official phrase, title, protocol, or standard. Web 2.0 is also not a technology, nor is it a product or company, it is a new way of architecting software and businesses on the Internet. Web 2.0 is the name given to a group of Web sites, services, and applications that have these characteristics:
Extending content beyond the top, core, major sites into the edges of the Web where the bulk of the sites are located. Otherwise known as the long tail.
Emphasizing user-generated content and looking for ways to get users involved and feeling like co-developers in what's known as the "architecture of participation." For example, Wikipedia is seven times larger than Encyclopedia Britannica, available in 92 languages and is written by readers.
Utilizing database-driven content. (You need to know what that means by now, if you don't, look it up!)
Making use of the network effect of the Net by creating applications that are attractive and easy to use on a regular basis so more and more people use them.
Evolving software so it works on all kinds of devices, not just PCs.
Promoting affinity-type service products in the sense of having no more software "releases," only constant "updates."
Cooperating with data sources, harnessing collective intelligence, and keeping restrictions on use and re-use at a minimum.
Web 2.0 is best thought of as a set of related forces, design patterns, and business models that have evolved out of first-generation Internet technology. However whereas first-generation Internet was primarily focused on human and computer interaction, Web 2.0 is primarily focused on culture and people --including the blogosphere. This is because users now generate the majority of content and they also provide the attention that drives almost everything online financially --particularly online advertising.
The term Web 2.0 is used in conversation as a general entity, for example "Web 2.0 is constantly looking for ways to get users involved and feeling like co-developers." For a slice of Internet culture, click on "more info" to see The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005. Below is video clip of one person's favorite 100 Web 2.0 terms, and there's also a link to another person's list of the 15 Dumbest Web 2.0 names ;-) Despite all of the funny jargon associated with Web 2.0, it has profoundly impacted millions of people's lives whose daily routines now involve posting their own content on the World Wide Web.
Watch this video of Lee Rainie, Director of Pew Internet and American Life Project, discuss Web 2.0, as he specifically highlights the new forms of Web 2.0 data as conceived of by John Batelle: purchase database, search data, social data, interest data, location data, content data, wildcard data, and unchartered territory.