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Recently, I've been getting a lot of jazz around the whole Web 2.0 thing. I myself am not a huge supporter, although I do respect and appreciate it, but the term is really being thrown around loosely lately. So I wanted some professional opinions on this topic. So exactly how do you define Web 2.0?

Some define it as a new look, with curvy corners, gradients, and transparency. Domain hacks (, etc.) play a large part in this.

Some define it as a revolution in what is possible, with newfangled animations, drop-down menus, and functions that would not be otherwise seen, such as the bottom-bar on doctype.

Some define it as a whole new class that the web can be used for. From online conversions, online Photoshop alternatives and refresh-free pages are central to this definition.

However, I want your opinion on this. What do you define it as? A combination of the above? Something not mentioned above? Please reply with your opinion, and if possible, reasoning behind it. I am not going to select a "best answer", as all I want are opinions.

I want this to be a discussion, not just multiple answers to my question, so feel free to talk about the answer above you, etc.

Also, if you have any outstanding sites to share that illustrate any points you wish to make, I would love to see them!

On that not, I'd love to show a site that I found to be absolutely stunning. It has cool animations and such, but also has transparency and cool curvy corners. It falls under 2 out of the three categories I stated above. Here it is

Metalab Design

If you have any websites you want to share, please post them up! Thanks a lot!

5 answers


Web 2.0
is modern, trendy approach to the web. It originally was the idea of focusing more on users and user-generated content, but has expanded into more of a new philosophy of web design, pursuing new, prettier and more usable websites. There a number of specific design styles and development tools that are associated with it today. Other characteristics include social-integration, cleaner code, and collaborative content creation (such as

Below is an in-progress list of resources, etc. I'm more than happy to collect/add/remove other sites to this list to help create a "Big Pretty Web 2.0 Resource List".

Web 2.0 Design Links
Web 2.0 Articles on Smashing Magazine
Web 2.0 Design Element Generators
99 Resources for Web 2.0 Design
Information Design Principles For Web 2.0 Design: Simple & Social

Web 2.0 Development Links
jQuery (script library)
Moo Tools (script library) (script library)

Web 2.0 "Apps" (Online Applications that embrace the 2.0 philosophy)
37 Signals Web Apps (Basecamp, Highrise, etc)

Web 2.0 Definitions and Other Resources
O'Reilly Definition
Wikipedia Page
Urban Dictionary Definition
Webware Top 100 Web 2.0 Sites

Answered about 10 years ago by Andy Fleming

I would define Web 2.0 as our current approach to web development. It was a coined term by O'Reilly Media. The dot-com period (pre 2001) could be looked at as Web 1.0. I think the Web 2.0 approach to web development includes newer technologies and more efficient methods of development. AJAX, JavaScript Libraries, table-less websites, user generated content, API's and more... have really become what I think as Web 2.0.

Answered about 10 years ago by Efficient Pixel
orta 244

The original definition of Web 2.0 was that it is a 'social web' in that instead of the content creators putting out all the site content it was a shift to users. So you had Encarta or any other encyclopedia website, but they fell to user editable sites like Wikipedia. Another good example is the user reviews in Amazon.

Nowadays, its used as a generic term for anything with some gradients or javascript. (/bitter) But to be quite frank most people just use it to refer to a modern looking and acting site because it wasn't so possible to have those effects 5+ years ago. So don't worry about using the buzzwords.

Answered about 10 years ago by orta

Web 3.0 alpha

Seriously tho', Web 2.0 is both meaningless and at the same time a very nice shorthand.

Meaningless, since it is used to cover everything and anything "new" (Not old, not like that other web, the one we lost so much money on just 7 years ago. It's Web 2.0! So please don't look at the business plan...)

And it's a useful shorthand to talk about all the great ways that the web ecosystem really has changed in ways that truly benefit users, and designers and developers.

Answered about 10 years ago by Eli Cochran
Emily G 620


Answered about 10 years ago by Emily G