Web 2.0 is about us whereas Web 1.0 was about them. For me, this sums up the fundamental differences between the two formats. David Curle (2009) describes Web 2.0 as:
a web of relationships, a web of empowerment, and a platform for application development … where the power of information, application, and peer-to-peer intelligence meet in order for people to do something – converse, purchase, practice medicine, share, invent or answer.
Users are empowered to create these relationships and develop applications by combining Web 2.0 technologies such as blog software, wikis, RSS, widgets etc with Web 1.0 search and access platforms (Curle, 2009).
Web 1.0 formats ‘broadcast’ to users while Web 2.0 formats invite users into a conversation. Another fundamental difference between the two is the tendency for Web 1.0 formats to control users while Web 2.0 formats empower users (O’Reilly, 2005).
Web 1.0 Web 2.0 Reading (homepages) Writing (blogs) Publication Participation Companies Communities Client-server Peer-to-peer HTML XML Portals RSS Taxonomy (keywords) Folksonomy (tags) Wires Wireless Owning Sharing Content management
Advertising Word of mouth
Do these differences make one format any better than the other?
First, consider reading versus writing. A great many people do not blog. They are content just to read. In those circumstances, Web 1.0 formats are as valid as Web 2.0 formats.
Next, consider the suggestion that Web 1.0 was about companies whereas Web 2.0 is about communities. In reality, Web 2.0 is more often about companies enabling the formation of communities. No great advantage is apparent there. In any event, Web 1.0 formats such as Yahoo Lists also allowed communities to develop.
Web 2.0 is an evolution not a revolution. Whether one format is superior to the other is part of the age-old debate about whether something new is better than something old. As the evolution continues, so too will the debate.
Curle, D. (2009). Professional Networks and Social Publishing in the Legal Tax and regulatory Segment, Outsell, Volume 3, Burlingame. Retrieved on 3 May 2009 from http://www.outsellinc.com/store/products/832
Drumgoole, J. (2006). Web 2.0 vs Web 1.0, Copacetic. Retrieved 2 June 2009 from http://joedrumgoole.com/blog/2006/05/29/web-20-vs-web-10/
O’Reilly, T. (2005). What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software. Retrieved 3 May 2009 from http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html?page=1