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What is Web 2.0?

Tim Berners-Lee the founder of the world wide web said about Web 2.0: „I think Web 2.0 is of course a piece of jargon, nobody even knows what it means". So let's try to find out what is by "Web 2.0" meant.

First Web 2.0 is not new Software or something technical. To explain Web 2.0 its recommendable to compare the two terms Web 1.0 and Web 2.0:

  • Web 1.0 means the traditional well-known Internet. You can surf the traditional web, reading news or articles. So Web 1.0 is more about consuming content, it was not that easy to create own content. You needed a Web server, writing a site and put the site on the Web server, so that others could access your homepage. In the end only some few people produced content. I used "few people" because in comparison with the people who surfed the internet, the "producers" are not that much.
  • Web 2.0 is about collaboration, participation and interaction. It is easy to generate own content. A typical example for Web 2.0 is Wikipedia. Everyone can create new articles or change existing articles. Here is a interesting document from the McKinsey Quarterly business journal which gives a brief overview about who is mainly contributing in communication platforms in a company: Contribution in Web 2.0

In the following table the terms Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 are opposed:

Web 1.0

Web 2.0

Publishing contents, Reading Contents

Participants, User create the content

Less interaction (clicking Links)

Big interaction (making videos and publish it on


This was more a theoretical description of Web 2.0. For the practical way let's look to some examples. Some of them are maybe wellknown to you:



Wikipedia is a Online-Lexicon. Everyone can read articles, change articles or create new articles.



youTube is a platform, everyone can upload own videos, maybe taken with a digital camera. Everyone can watch the videos.



Myspace is a popular site for social network. You can create a profile page about you, upload pictures, videos link your profile to other profiles, etc. With the connection to other profiles a big network is build. The connected persons itself also connect to other persons and so on.



Xing is pretty similar to myspace. But XING is more for building networks from a professional standpoint with a resume for example. A scenario is for example that companies browse XING on the search for employees with a certain skill-profile.



On Flickr you can upload pictures and tag (mark it with comments) them. When you tag a picture for example with "my vacation in Italy" everyone find the picture who search for "Italy".

 SAP Community NetworkSAP Community Network is a plattform for collaboration which provides the possibilities of Blogs, Forums or Wikis. The SAP Community Network consists of SDN Community (SDN: SAP Developer Network) and BPX Community (BPX: Business Process Expert). SDN Community addresses Developers and IT-Specialists. BPX Community addresses rather Business Process Experts. A Business Process Expert has expertise on the business side, processes and also of the technical side.

There are some technologies which are normally associated with Web 2.0. The following technologies are not completely. I only want to introduce some terms which are normally mentioned with Web 2.0:

  • Blog
    Blog is the short form for Weblog. A person is writing about a topic, others can comment it. This article is for example a Blog.
  • Wiki
    A Wiki is used to building documents together. The most popular example is Wikipedia.
  • Forum
    A Forum is often used to answer a question. You can raise a question, other people can answer to the question while they writing posts (little articles, one or a couple of sentences).
  • Tagging
    Tagging means to index something (a picture, another webpages, etc.). A popular example for this technology is On this site you can bookmark websites and comment it. Sites which are index by many users getting a high ranking and you can search for topics and get pages which are high ranked by other users.
  • Podcasts
    "Pocdast" is a mix of "iPod" and "broadcast". An audiofile, for example in the mp3-format, that you can download (or uploading own audios) and listen to it, for example on an iPod on the way to work.

Some of these technologies are also used in the Business Process Expert Community (BPX-Community). The BPX-Community is a platform where Business Process Experts can communicate. On the BPX-Community are information, tools, resources in the area of business processes, best practices experiences, documentation about industry standards and SAP ES descriptors available.  Everyone who wants to contribute his expertise can do so at the BPX-Community.

Thanks to Moya: I almost forgot a important information. The expression "Web 2.0" was founded by Tim O'Reilly in 2004. More information about this can you find at the Link from Moya's comment. Moya also wrote a blog about a video explaining the history of the internet until Web 2.0. More information about the video you getting at Michael Wesch and Web 2.0: "Rethink Love".

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