Web 2.0 is a term often applied to a perceived ongoing transition of the World Wide Web from a collection of websites to a full-fledged computing platform serving web applications to end users. Ultimately Web 2.0 services are expected to replace desktop computing applications for many purposes.
What it means to me is that all of a sudden I am able to find so many more free online services that help me get my shit together… For example:
BlinkList is a social bookmarking service. Social or not, it allows me to store my bookmarks on the internet, so I can access them conveniently from wherever I am. It also allows me to be more specific by tagging sites and providing descriptions. More importantly it keeps things organized. No longer do I have to deal with a huge list of local bookmarks that I have to scroll through. I can now bookmark anything that I think is even remotely interesting and I don’t have to worry about taking up precious space. Why? Because now I can search my bookmarks. Gotta love it.
One of many online wishlist sites that I’ve stumbled upon recently. I have a horrible memory and everytime Christmas comes around I have no idea what I’d like, let alone what my friends would like. Now, if I see something online, I hit a couple of buttons, and BAM! it’s saved forever. Take that, memory!
Everyone’s got photos they want to share. With Flickr you can upload them for free and share them with friends or family. Or maybe you just need to boost your ego by showing off your abilities when it comes to lighting (wtf?). In any case, if your harddrive ever goes kablooey, at least your photos will be safe, no?
So RSS is here, right? Let’s you read websites from one central place. I think Bloglines is typical of what Web 2.0 is all about. As opposed to having an app that runs on your PC, you can gather all your RSS feeds of interest in one place, online. Benefits again are that if you ever lose your harddrive or are somewhere else, or blahblahblah. You get the picture. I like it!
Online email has been around for a long time but it’s getting better all the time. I can’t recall how many times I’ve vowed to stick with an email account, but I think my Gmail account may really be it. Hey, I have nearly 3GB of space and am only using 11% of it. I used to store my emails in a local app, like Outlook (shudder) or Thunderbird. But no more. My system goes down the crapper more often than I’d like and I’m sick of losing emails. Google to the rescue!
So, whatever Web 2.0 means to people, to me it means one thing in short: Comfort.