What is Web 2.0? -Software, Tools & Applications

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  • 0:03 What Is Web 2.0?
  • 1:06 Forms of Online Connections
  • 2:49 Web 2.0 Software and Tools
  • 6:31 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kent Beckert

Kent is an adjunct faculty member for the College of Business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and has a Master's degree in Technical Management.

This lesson details some of the methodologies used in Web 2.0 to encourage information sharing among Internet users. We'll discuss forms of connectivity, Web 2.0 tools, and Web applications such as integration, organization, and data analysis.

What Is Web 2.0?

In the early years, first-generation Web 1.0 users accessed the Internet for the purpose of obtaining information displayed as individual website pages. In Web 1.0, we used a web browser and a search engine to shop our favorite commercial sites, we performed research, and we may have sought details about our favorite celebrity. During all this activity, there was limited opportunity for sharing information with others. This limitation changed with the introduction of Web 2.0.

Unlike Web 1.0 in which little interaction was performed, Web 2.0 invites us to exchange information with anyone and everyone. For example, in Web 2.0, we publish data and information to the Internet via web identities, such as Facebook, Wikipedia, and a multitude of blogging sites. Additionally, we have made a significant change in the way online interactivity is accomplished, not so much technologically, but in how we interact and share information with others using various forms of online connections.

Forms of Online Connections

Web 2.0 focuses on providing online interactions by employing three forms of connectivity: people to people, online services, and users and software applications.

When interacting, people to people connections in Web 2.0 provide interpersonal computing functionality primarily in the form of social networking. Wiki, blogs, online video, dating services, etc., are readily available. These sites and services encourage each of us to not only read content but also add to it by exchanging opinions, joining online discussions, and posting informative and helpful videos.

Online services constitute the second form of Web 2.0 connectivity. Online services are unique in Web 2.0 in that these services combine the functionality of multiple websites to perform an action. For example, payment services like PayPal combine their capabilities with banking partners to process online payments. Mapping services are another example in which GPS information is combined with mapping functionality, providing topology, traffic, and other geographical information.

Our third form of connectivity is users and software applications, commonly referred to as software as a service (SaaS). Software applications as part of Web 2.0 are available online either free or for a small monthly fee. Using SaaS, we no longer need to download expensive and expansive software applications such as Microsoft Office or Adobe's popular graphic software, Photoshop. Instead, Web 2.0 enables access to these and other programs using a browser application and a connection to the Internet.

Web 2.0: Software and Tools

The popularity of Web 2.0 becomes apparent as new features and functionality become available. By providing interactivity, sharing information, and promoting social networking, designers and developers of Web 2.0 offerings continue to implement new software programs. These include analytical and productivity tools, as well as web applications, or apps.


A major key to Web 2.0 effectiveness is its ease of use and interactivity. For instance, users access comparative shopping through the use of multiple onsite shopping sites. Others can make consignment purchases from sites like eBay or Craigslist. People can make use of free web-based email, such as Hotmail and Gmail. Other individuals can access online banking to pay bills, make deposits, and transfer funds. There are other more specialized programs out there: for instance, home and office functions such as financial analysis, spreadsheet analysis, and word processing.

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