The definition of Web 2.0 describes a new version of the World Wide Web sites. It describes a technology that is more advanced than the one the static web pages of earlier sites features. Unlike web 1.0, Web 2.0 sites allow users to communicate as they include many social networks, mashups, video sharing sites, wikis and blogs. Therefore, the users are no longer passive as they can do more than just reading the existing information.
Web 2.0 refers to a new version of the World Wide Web because these sites have registered some changes regarding the way that they can be made and used. So, the definition of web 2.0 does not refer to an update of a certain specification, because it focuses on changes that made the web pages more practical.
These alternatives to previous sites allow the users to interact with each other in a social media dialogue. That way they can collaborate and exchange ideas in a productive purpose. Furthermore, users are allowed to do more than just retrieving information. They are given the possibility to write, or to complete the content that exists on a certain site in order to improve its quality. So, it offers them the possibility to contribute and add valuable data to the existing information. However, there are still Web pages where people are limited to only reading content while remaining passive users.
Here are the most important characteristics of the Web 2.0:
• The Folksonomy feature allows users to find and classify information;
• It allows the user to be seen as a contributor as the information circulates two ways between the site administrator and those who are interested in the site content. The purpose of these interactions is to evaluate, review and comment on certain topics.
• Basic trust is used as criteria when it comes to allowing users to participate in the development of the site. Adding content for other people to see is an option that is available for the world to use and re-purpose.
• Users can have access to information through multiple channels; therefore mass participation is another characteristic of these web sites.
According to the definition of Web 2.0, these sites can be separated into three groups:
• The Rich Internet application expresses the experience that the desktop offers to the browser.
• The Web-oriented architecture describes how Web 2.0 applications function so that other programs can incorporate the functionality and provide much more complex applications.
• The Social Web shows how Web 2.0 tries to interact more with the end user and to make him an integral element.