Web 2.0 is a term coined in recent years that describes the changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aim to enhance creativity, information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and hosted services, such as social networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and social indexes.
Web 2.0 websites are typically known for the use of CSS, Folksonomies (social tagging, classification, and indexing), Microformats, REST/XML/JSON-based APIs, rich internet applications such as Ajax, Flex, or Flash, semantically valid XHTML and HTML, RSS/Atom syndication and aggregation, weblog-publishing tools, wiki or forum software, and the extended use of internet privacy and content management. Below is a list of the top 15 websites that have been influential in establishing these methods of functionality on the web.
Google has been a rising star for the past decade now, and is officially the largest American corporation not a part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The original site started out as a simple search engine, eventually becoming a wide network of sites and services that include Gmail, Google Maps, Google Docs, Google Talk, Google Desktop, AdWords, Analytics, Picasa, and Google Earth, among others. As a testament to the company’s popularity, the word “Google” was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a verb in 2006, meaning “to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the internet.” Google’s “iGoogle” variant site has shown to be a comparable staple on the 2.0 scene.
With the advent of modern Web 2.0 content, one of the first forms of media to become the cornerstone of user-generated communities was photos. With the popularity of blogging, people began to not only want to share their experiences in text form, but in photo form as well. Hence, this form of visual expression became a popular aspect of the internet. Flickr introduced the ability to upload and share your photos with the world and receive feedback.
In the natural order of technological evolution, there is always a “new” website that debuts as an advancement over an existing one. For MySpace, that natural evolution was Facebook. In recent years MySpace has become a breeding ground for social abuse, including stalking, child predation, sexuality, and other forms of depravity, including the overuse of cutesy sparkling animated GIFs. What Facebook offered was a straight-forward, minimalistic, accessible social network that cleaned up where MySpace had made a mess. With it’s heightened privacy protocols and lack of profile clutter, Facebook quickly became a popular utility for social networking.
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