by Sibers Senior Flash Developer Alexander Nemtsov
Web 2.0 is not just a new way for developing applications but it is an absolutely new business model. And everything connected to new ways of making money is always popular in our world.
At present, when everybody is speaking about Web 2.0, it mostly concerns marketing rather than new technologies. You can find Web.2.0 mentioned more often in the context of design than business. Clients usually ask: “I want the design in Web.2.0 style”. But this is absolutely wrong; Web 2.0 is not about design at all! Moreover, in my opinion, now it is too early to use the term Web 2.0 because it is not just a new technology but a new approach to the information management that has not completely defined yet.
In my university years we had one subject among many others, Informatics. It was not related to IT technologies and computers but rather to the study of different information issues. We studied the theory of information, laws and issues of information distribution. At present I have clear understanding that development of Web 2.0 is impossible without developing a new approach to information distribution in the Internet. New schemas of information distribution should be developed. Discussions on this subject have already started in the Internet. The new philosophy of the Internet seems to emerge.
I am not saying that Web 2.0 has not appeared yet. Completely new schemas of information management and customer relations do appear. We can look at Flickr as an example of such a new schema (www.flickr.com). This is really a bomb. It represents a completely new method of image storage and processing. I believe that more and more web applications will be multi-user applications since users loose their interest in single-user web applications. And I am not talking only about multi-player games, but about social networks as well. When looking at Flickr, I can’t say that it is just a huge pile of images stored online. Users can rate images, post their comments and socialize with each other on this site. And a person may not just store his information there, but make it available to others and to integrate his information with other users’ information as well. In the case of Flickr, we can see multi-layered interactions, such as: information with other information, user with his own information, user with other users’ information, user with another user, etc. But for now, such complicated multi-layered interactions have not been fully realized yet. We can see only several examples of these interactions in the Internet. In Flickr, its developers used so-called tags, which may be a real solution of such interactions, the future will show. In my opinion, Web 2.0 is a combination of multi-user applications and new approaches to the information distribution and storage.
Also I believe that besides all the things I previously mentioned, Web 2.0 mostly consists of technologies used to realize them. Technologies that are invisible to the eye of a regular user, such as various server APIs, providing means to organize distributed applications. Looking back at Flickr, it became very popular because the site is not only user-friendly but it is very convenient for its developers as well. On its basis, developers create cool services, because it has an open and structured API.
I believe that in the future, some special services will appear which will provide access to various APIs. For example, a man decides to open his own business, say an Internet head hunter agency. What does he do at present? He finds a software development company and orders it to construct a special site for him. But in the future, most probably, there will be such services that will provide direct access to APIs, made especially to create and manage such agencies. This will also be one of Web 2.0 schemas.