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Using Web 2.0 tools

Web 2.0 has been the buzzword on the internet now for a few years. Not exactly straight forward to describe, it has nonetheless changed how we use the internet. Rich content, user generated content and other technologies that have made things far more interesting and flashy, though whether it has more substance is up for debate.

I have been using the world wide web since roughly 1997. Back then, Netscape Navigator ruled the world, dial up was state of the art, and static web pages, sometimes designed in MS Word was a common trend. Since those early days, I’ve grown with the web. I’ve used different browsers, seen operating systems rise up, and how technology has exploded in about 10 years. Being such an old timer, I never bothered much with the emergence of Web 2.0, I had other things that interested me.

However, in the last 6 months I’ve started to appreciate how some factors of Web 2.0 have improved my browsing experience. RSS feeds have shown me how to keep in touch with some of my favourite sites without needing to visit them everytime. Without knowing it, by writing this blog I was already taking part in a major part of Web 2.0. I used YouTube recently to watch some clips of the standout suprises of a tv show. I’ve also started using Joomla to build a new website for my new job, something that I could never have done the static way. Some aspects of Web 2.0 will not be available to me down here in South Africa, due to the limited bandwidth situation. That rules out a lot of things, but still, for what I’ve used so far I’ve enjoyed.

There is the dark side of Web 2.0 that not many people think of: security. With all the AJAX code, Flash videos and other things that make up the experience, there will be an increase in problems in times to come. Flash in particular has come under a lot of pressure with many new exploits popping up over the last few years. As always, it is best to keep up to date with patches, virus definitions and OS patches.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the web evolves from here. I wonder if clean and simple layouts will beat the highly dense and confusing layouts of some sites now.

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