Web 2.0 – The Power Behind the Hype

Another for the “What is Web 2.0, again” file – excellent write up from Jared Spool at User Interface Engineering: “Web 2.0: The Power Behind they Hype

It’s a basic primer on web 2.0, mostly focused on mashups and quick integration, in which Spool argues:

The speed and ease at which these new applications were built is what is getting us very excited about the potential of the Web 2.0 world. Evocative of Dr. Frankenstein building a monster in his attic laboratory using body pieces he found lying around his neighborhood, people with a little skill can create new applications using common elements found lying around the Web in almost no time at all. As the skill requirements for building these applications are decreasing, we think this opens a whole new world of possibilities.

Web 2.0 isn’t a ‘thing’, but a collection of approaches, which are all converging on the development world at a rapid pace. These approaches, including APIs, RSS, Folksonomies, and Social Networking, suddenly give application developers a new way to approach hard problems with surprisingly effective results.

He goes on to cover:

  • The Power of APIs and RSS as an interface
  • Folksonomies
  • Social Networking
  • Assembling applications quickly and relatively cheaply
  • Remaining work to be done

And ultimately concludes that:

There’s been a tremendous amount of hype surrounding all these new developments, but, for once, we are thinking that there really is some power that is beneath the hype that is worth paying attention to.

Good summary with a number of clear examples and a focus (as you’d expect from UIE) on usability and user experience.


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