Web 2.0 is a term that was coined by O’Relly media back in 2004. The term was meant to describe modern websites and the technologies that they use. These technologies allowed for websites moving beyond static pages and incorporating a variety of features such as virtual communities and user-generated content.

Web 2.0 Specifications

Currently there are no specifications for a Web 2.0 website. However, they are several features that help Web 2.0 websites differentiate themselves from earlier 1990 websites.

Websites that offer interactive application that promote user participation in way of contribution, organization and creation of content. It is also important to note that these technologies created using special platforms, where the end user need not be a master web developer in order to easily publish their content online.

W3C founder Tim Berners –Lee has been cited as describing the term Web 2.0 as “jargon”, because no one really knows what it is. Especially since his original vision for the web  was for it to be  open and free communication, anyways. The ability for the novice web user to instantly share and publish content online is one the driving factors to has lead Web 2.0 technologies to quickly become a pseudo standard in modern web design.

What is a Web 2.0 site?

When describing a Web 2.0 site it is important to note what exactly is a website to being with. If you recall from our previous lesson, a website is a group of related web pages, which all reside on the same web server.

Therefore any website (or page) that is online and offers a certain set of technologies fall under the Web 2.0 umbrella. The key thing to remember is that all of this Web 2.0 sites are still just websites at the core. .


Wikis are like online collaborative encyclopedias. Collaborative being the key word here. All users have the ability to revise and edit the articles within the wiki.


Blogs are essentially web logs that allow users to write articles (posts) on any given topic. A single author or a group of authors can maintain Blogs, while subscribers (readers) usually are given the ability to comment on a post. Comments contribute to the conversation and community aspect of a blog.

Web design students often comment saying they “want to make websites” not blogs. Keep in mind that a blog is still just a website that offers Web 2.0 features

Social Media

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, allow for users to create, share and converse online at a click of a button. They also allow for a community building aspect, by way of friending or following users.

Photo &Video Sharing

Sharing of digital files is another popular element of Web 2.0 site. Flickr, Instagram, Viemo and YouTube are just a few of photo/video sharing sites. These websites allow uses to upload their photos and videos to share with others around the world, as well as get feedback on the content.

File Sharing

Online storage sites like Dropbox or Google Drive offer online (cloud) file storage for their users. They also have a Web 2.0 aspect which allow for users to share their files with others.

Sites like GitHub offer a similar file storing feature, however they are designed primarily for developers. Not only can you upload your files, and share with others, others in the community can revise and update the files. All revisions and updates are recorded and archived. This type of ability makes it the perfect environment for developers to work in teams online.

Web Mail

Even web based mail applications like Gmail can be considered a Web 2.0 website, since they allow users to once again create, share and publish (mail) content.

The fastest growing web 2.0 technologies are blogs and social media.

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