Web 1.0 is considered by many to be the first generation of tools and technologies to harness the power of the Internet, invented by Sir Tim Berners Lee in 1989 and implemented by him and a student the following year as the “World Wide Web” ( “The Web”).
The tools of Web 1.0 were used to publish information. This first Web is often referred to as the <read only> web, a place to provide and retrieve information. Most corporate websites today are built on a Web 1.0 model. These traditional sites are used to provide a wealth of information on the company, its products and services.
The term Web 2.0 is used to refer to the next generation of Internet technologies and tools. Web 2.0 is known as the "social web", where new social media tools enable engagement, interaction and discussion. It is a web of relationships among people, sometimes referred to as the <read/write> web.
The term was first coined by computer publisher and conference producer Tim O’Reilly in 2004 at his first Web 2.0 Conference. The focus of the conference was to explore a whole host of new, next generation technologies and their impact on business practices. O'Reilly was among the the first to note that the Web was moving from its initial use as an "information highway" to becoming more a “platform of participation”, a social web.
A corporate blog, which is a specific kind of web site, is a good example of Web 2.0 technology. While there are many things that distinguish a business blog from a corporate web site, two key things stand out. First, a blog is written by an individual in his or her own voice where as a company website is written in the anonymous language of the corporation. Second, readers can comment on a blog, express their opinion and differences, in other words, readers can talk back. On a standard website neither was possible.
Today, the attention is focused on to Web 2.0 and all the power and new innovations it has unleashed. But Berners-Lee would argue that there is no such thing as Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, that the Web is the Web and that the potential was there from the start.
For me what
is important is having a way to define and express the differences between two
generations of Web tools and technologies and most importantly how each has been applied.
Web 2.0 is a real, honest to goodness, sea change in how we do business (and just about everything else). Differentiating Web 2.0 from Web 1.0, enables me to underscore the difference between two profoundly distinct approaches and raise the flag that a new day has come.