“Web 2.0” is a term invented in 1999 by Darcy D’Nucci. He used this term in an article he published which he titled “Fragmented Future”. Darcy D’Nucci in that article pointed out the indications that there would be a transition of websites from being the existing static, read only sites to interactive and user friendly ones. The term referred to websites that emerged after the previous static ones. This new websites were user friendly and interactive unlike the previous ones. Web 2.0 were also known as “Participative (or Participatory)” and “Social Web”.
The term was used again in 2002 in an article by Scott Dietzen. Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty popularised the use of the word when they held the first O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 Conference in late 2004.
With Web 2.0, websites were not regarded as just ordinary pages. In contrast, they were seen as platforms on which customers can interact with themselves and the web owners. The main idea behind it was that customers interaction could be used as a propellant of business value in many ways. This showed the consideration of the important role of customers helping to build the business through their interactive activities on the platforms.
O’Reilly further stressed the advantage of this innovation by comparing the business models of Netscape and Encyclopedia Britannica Online with that of Google and Wikipedia respectively. He argued that while Netscape focused on software creation with pre-scheduled update release dates, Google focused on providing services that are based on the data it indexes. This, he explained, led to the evolution of the elements of “PageRank” algorithms. These needed to be updated constantly, which is unlike software that is only needed to be updated at intervals and at prescheduled dates. This was known as “the perpetual beta”.
He further explained with Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica. While the encyclopedia employed the services of learned individuals, experts and professionals to make updates, Wikipedia simply allows anybody to create articles, publish them or edit existing ones. Thus, Wikipedia runs on what is known as open source, in other words, it is free.
Web 2.0 allowed site users and website developers to create and generate online content in its various forms; text, pictures, or videos. It also served as catalyst for future web innovations and for IoT (Internet of Things). However, in spite of the many benefits and functionality that came with Web 2.0, many website users were offended. They felt the innovation brought about a breach of their privacy as organizations that owned sites were able to access the personal information of their site users.
Presently, there are indications of the emergence of Web 3.0. Some websites are already on the forefront of taking advantage of this evolution. Although, the direction is not fully understood yet, the IoT or Internet of Things is already moving into this new phase of web use. It is expected that it would bring along with it greater freedom and flexibility in the use of the internet. However, indications suggest that site users may have to divulge a great deal of personal information.
There are some that are hopeful from arrival of the block-chain that with Web 3.0 the rightful owners will get back their rights of data.