I wrote this article after listening to a podcast hosted by Paul Boag and with his trusty sidekick Marcus Lillington. The podcast is based on Andy Budd's topic entitled 'What is Web 2.0?' at the 2005 dConstruct conference.
A Web 2.0 application is aware that the data you put into the system is your data. A classic example of this concept is YouTube. The videos that you upload to YouTube belong to you and does not belong to YouTube. YouTube only provides a service for you to upload and manage your videos. Another example of this concept is blogging services like WordPress and Blogger. Their application only provides the system for you to manage your blog posts. The blog entries that you put in their system are your own data. 'Open data' revolves around the concept that if you put your data into the system, you should then be able to get it out from them if you decide to go with another application. 'Open data' also means giving users control over their sensitive data. Users should not have a hard time updating their email address, password and other information.
Architecture of Participation
Back then traditional websites are the only one delivering the information and content to the user. The user only gets to scan and read this information. Nowadays Web 2.0 sites encourages user participation meaning users can submit their own content to the website. The idea behind this is that the more people that contribute to the site the better the site becomes. An example of this concept is Wikipedia where the content is generated by users from around the world. Another example would be Digg where users vote for a website that gets to be promoted on Digg's front page after it gets a certain amount of votes. Users can give their comments and feedbacks on products and articles which can help other users gain as much as information on a particular service or product.
Rich User Experience
In my opinion the Web 2.0 concept is really all about the users. Its about making the web a better place. Websites should go along with the users and not against them. Of course if you have any other thoughts of what a Web 2.0 site is and whats it provided to be you're welcome to share it here.