Next Generation Web Applications – Web 2.0 and Beyond

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Most of the people have come across the term "Web 2.0" but find it difficult to understand. There are number of definitions doing the rounds in the internet world. Some of these are as follows:

Web 2.0 permits virtual applications: Web 2.0 permits the building of virtual small, relatively rapid to deploy applications, drawing data and functionality from a number of different sources as appropriate. These applications tend to bring power within the reach of suitably motivated individuals that was previously the preserve of corporations.

Web 2.0 Means Ajax: One important constituent of its meaning is certainly AJAX, which we can still only just bear to use without scare quotes. Basically, what "AJAX" means is "JavaScript now works." And that in turn means that web-based applications can now be made to work much more like desktop ones.

Web 2.0 is about sharing: Code, content, ideas. That does not mean there is not money to be made. There is, but new business models need to be found whereby we collaborate on the platform (s) and make money by adding value over and above that which we and others have built together.

Web 2.0 is blogging: Everyone on planet has one or more story / experience to tell / share, even nonprofits organisations. Blogs are online white paper, journal created by organization or individual people covering topics from technology to personal experience.

Web 2.0 created RSS: An RSS feed is thus a much stronger link than, say a bookmark or a link to a single page. Some people call this "the incremental web." Others call it the "live web". RSS also means that the web browser is not the only means of viewing a web page. RSS is now being used to push not just notices of new blog entries, but also all kinds of data updates, including stock quotes, weather data, and photo availability.

Let us have a look at one important key principle of Web 2.0 and compare it with old Web 1.0 (if we can say so)

Web 2.0 principle: the service automatically gets better the more people use it.

Akamai vs. BitTorrent

Like DoubleClick, Akamai is optimized to do business with the head, not the tail, with the centre, not the edges. While it serves the benefit of the individuals at the edge of the web by smoothing their access to the high-demand sites at the centre, it collects its revenue from those central sites.

BitTorrent, like other pioneers in the P2P movement, takes a radical approach to internet decentralization. Every client is also a server; files are broken up into fragments that can be served from multiple locations, transparently harnessing the network of downloader's to provide both bandwidth and data to other users. The more popular the file, in fact, the faster it can be served, as there are more users providing bandwidth and fragments of the complete file.

BitTorrent thus demonstrates a key Web 2.0 principle. While Akamai must add servers to improve service, every BitTorrent consumer brings his own resources to the party. There's an implicit "architecture of participation", a built-in ethic of cooperation, in which the service acts primarily as an intelligent broker, connecting the edges to each other and harnessing the power of the users themselves.

To become Web 2.0 Company, following core competencies are essential ones.

* Services, not packaged software, with cost-effective scalability
* Control over unique, hard-to-recreate data sources that get richer as more people use them
* Trusting users as co-developers
* Harnessing collective intelligence
* Leveraging the long tail through customer self-service
* Software above the level of a single device
* Lightweight user interfaces, development models, AND business models

Beyond Web 2.0

There will be time when Web 2.0 will be morphed into Web 3.0 so how companies should get ready for this. Understand consumer's online pattern of service consumption and not just focus on currently available best technology and tools. Take new experiments and apply them frequently.

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