The development of the traditional World Wide Web resulted in a shift from data that was posted on a website which simply allowed uses to view or download content, to a network that allows collaboration among internet users. This expansion allowed users to become a part of the creative process by giving them the power to input and exert some control over the content. Web 2.0 is a term that was coined in 1999 by Darcy DiNucci in her article “Fragmented Future” and was then popularised by Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty at the O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 Conference in 2004.
“The Web we know now, which loads into a browser window in essentially static screenfuls, is only an embryo of the Web to come. The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear, and we are just starting to see how that embryo might develop. The Web will be understood not as screenfuls of text and graphics but as a transport mechanism, the ether through which interactivity happens.”
Web 2.0 takes Web 1.0 and, rather than updating it in any technical way, it builds on web pages to emphasize user-generated content, mobilization, and interaction. It allows its users to go further than they were able to with Web 1.0 by creating dialogue between users in a virtual community through community-based contribution, interaction, content sharing and collaboration.
Web 1.0 allowed for a space for a majority of web users to act as consumers of content rather than play the role of content creators (Cormode, G. and Krishnamurthy, B., 2008). Tim O’Reilly (2005) identifies three main factors of Web 1.0 that needed to be advanced; those factors being Web 1.0 websites are static, not interactive, and their applications are proprietary. These sites do contain useful information, but this information is presented to the user in a way that gives them the information they need but does not give them a reason to return to the site. Not being able to contribute to the site by adding or altering information means there is no interaction between the user and the site as a wall is put up between them. Allowing users to visit and contribute to a webpage builds a trust between the user and the site administrator that keeps the user coming back.
According to Terry Flew (2008), the main thing that portrayed the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 was the “move from personal websites to blogs and blog site aggregation, from publishing to participation, from web content as the outcome of large up-front investment to an ongoing and interactive process, and from content management systems to links based on tagging”.
Tim O’Reilly (2005) describes the Web 2.0 phenomenon as a way for customers to build the business for brands in that the activities of Internet users generate the content being published through text, videos and pictures that is being employed by the site as a marketing tool. By creating a profile or personal account, a website user is being invited by the site to add content through commenting and discussion boards which in turn generates user participation through a back and forth conversation between users.
Hashan Kulasiri (2015) describes the following ways that Web 2.0 tools are implemented:
· Wiki pages: these sites allow users to contribute to and edit content on webpages.
· Nomadicity: mobile computing that allows users to connect from wherever they are using smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices that have access to Wi-Fi networks.
· Mash-Ups: these websites incorporate corresponding information from various sources.
· Social Networks: these sites allow businesses and brands to grow their following and contacts by connecting directly with individuals.
· Crowdsourcing: seeking contributions from multiple sources such as online communities to procure ideas and content for sites.
· User Generated Content: content such as text, images, audio and video that is created and made available online by those individuals who create it.
· Social Curation: content that is centred around a particular theme or topic which is shared through online sites.
While there are many positive elements to the Web 2.0 concept, it has also brought about a fair amount of controversy. Allowing basically anybody to edit and add information to a website allows for issues around reliability, integrities and validity of web content. While most content is monitored, it is easy for changes to go unnoticed which may cause backlash within online communities. Information could be incorrect and offensive language and content could be shared. The impossibility of excluding members who do not contribute content means that other members may no longer wish to share because they do not feel they are getting a return for their contributions. Privacy and security for users is also a concern as data being shared could lead to unsolicited contact between users.
The Web 2.0 phenomenon relates back to the social media project Denim Appreciation Society through its strong social networking tools and social curation as well as user generated content. Posts were first published to Instagram and then shared on Facebook so that the audience can see the link and traffic would be directed between the pages. Direct links to the WordPress blog were posted onto both Facebook and Instagram in the description section and when a new blog post was uploaded a preview and shared on the other platforms with encouragement to the audience to go and have a read. This collaboration between networking sites encouraged users to connect to the brand on various levels. This also encouraged current followers to share product with their own online community. Users were encouraged to contribute to pages by “inviting” them to like, follow and comment on posts. As an author becoming involved in online forums and conversations to spread awareness of the brand was a tool used to encourage conversation between users across all content pages. Tagging and commenting on posts by brands and bloggers was also used to encourage users to “click” back to the home page and interact with the brand.
O’Reilly, Tim. (2005)”What is Web 2.0.” O’Reilly Media. http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html. [Accessed 17 May 2016].
Krishnamurthy, Balachander. & Cormode, Graham. (2008). “Key differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0”. First Monday 13 (6).
Flew, Terry. (2008). New Media: An Introduction (3rd ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. p. 19.
DiNucci, Darcy. (1999). “Fragmented Future”. Print 53 (4): 32.
Kulasiri, Hashan. (2015). What is web 2.0. [ONLINE] Available at: http://web2vscontemporary.blogspot.com.au/. [Accessed 17 May 2016].