What's All This Buzz About Web 2.0?

Description: Everyone must have heard of Web 2.0 by now, but that doesn't mean everyone understands what it means - either on a basic level or in terms of how the internet is set to develop in the future. Read on to find out more.

Web 2.0 is the future of the internet - but it's here now, and even if you don't know what it means you are probably participating in it right now without even realizing.

Put simply Web 2.0 marks the beginning of a more interactive internet experience. Where we used to visit websites, read what was there and then move on, we can now interact with other visitors to (and users of) those websites, creating profiles and taking part in discussions in real time.

The explosion of these websites has led to a new frontier in web design. Instead of simply creating a site which only works on one level, you need to create one which provides interactive features in an easy to understand way. They also need to be easy to navigate and use, to ensure that people keep coming back for more.

Some of the best examples of websites which have really proved popular in this new internet arena include MySpace, Facebook and del.icio.us. Social networking sites are all the rage at the moment, and they show no sign of abating. People use these websites for all kinds of reasons - to promote themselves (and their businesses) in a subtle way, to meet other like minded people online, and to share their knowledge about their favorite subject.

Social bookmarking sites work in a similar way, allowing people from all over the world to bookmark their favorite websites online and share them with other people. A single URL can be given to everyone they know - and even posted on their website or blog - so that other people can see what sites they have bookmarked.

It sounds like a cliche, but Web 2.0 really does have something to offer everyone. It also opens the floodgates for those web designers who can really get to grips with the advanced programming skills and different design techniques that really benefit an interactive website. Businesses that recognize this fact stand to spearhead a whole new wave of web design, as more and more people seek to take advantage of how social networking is affecting every corner of the internet.

While websites such as MySpace and del.icio.us stand at the more complex end of interactivity, there are simpler examples of how Web 2.0 thinking is affecting other websites as well. Simply providing integrated member accounts on a website, which allow the user to personalize and enhance their own experience during a visit can greatly improve an existing site.

While no one can tell where the future of the internet will lead, there is no doubt that further interactivity is likely to figure in it somewhere. The question is, how will your website design be affected, and where will you fit in?

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