Coined in 2005 by Tim O'Reilly, Web 2.0 is a set of internet-based tools that make the web a two-way communication space. For example, in this environment, the traditional roles of editor and reader, typically fixed in earlier media, are significantly less formalized and dialogue is de riguer. Some observers argue that because Web 2.0 utilizes technologies that have been available since the early days of the Internet, the term doesn't really describe anything new.
Gathering information from multiple web sites, typically via RSS ("Really Simple Syndication" -- see below). "Aggregation" describes the process in which websites remix information from multiple websites. One common example is the republication of various news reports related to a particular keyword.
A service that reproduces news stories from other media, often without generating content itself.
Originally short for "weblog," a blog is just a web page that contains entries in reverse chronological order, with the most recent entry on top. But blogging has taken off because the explosion in blogging software and services -- such as Blogger, TypePad and WordPress -- has turned blogging into one of the easiest ways for people to maintain a constantly updated web presence. In addition to the classic text blog, we now have photo blogs (consisting of uploaded photos), audio blogs (a.k.a. "podcasts") and video blogs (which consist of regularly uploaded video files).
A list of recommended sites that appears in the sidebar of a blog. These sites are typically sites that are either on similar topics, sites that the blogger reads regularly, or sites that belong to the blogger's friends or colleagues. The term "blogroll" also evokes the concept of political logrolling (when legislators promise to vote for one another's pet bills) -- which is not unlike bloggers' habit of reciprocating links by posting links to blogs that link back to their own blogs.
A web service or software tool that combines two or more tools to create a whole new service. A leading example is ChicagoCrime, which merges Google Maps with the Chicago police department's crime tracking web site to offer a map of crime in different parts of Chicago.
Short for mobile blogging, moblogging refers to posting blog updates from a cell phone, camera phone or pda (personal digital assistant). Mobloggers may update their web sites more frequently than other bloggers, because they don't have to be at their computers in order to post.
A newsreader gathers the news from multiple blogs or news sites via RSS (see below), allowing readers to access all their news from a single web site or program. Online newsreaders (like Bloglines, Pluck, or Newsgator) are web sites that let you read RSS feeds from within your web browser. Desktop newsreaders download the news to your computer, and let you read your news inside a dedicated software program.
An audio blog, typically updated weekly or daily. You don't have to have an ipod to listen to a podcast; although you can download podcasts to an ipod, you can also listen to podcasts on a desktop computer, or many other mp3 players.
An abbreviation for "Really Simple Syndication." It signifies a format for storing online information in a way that makes that information readable by lots of different kinds of software. Many blogs and web sites feature RSS feeds: a constantly updated version of the site's latest content, in a form that can be read by a newsreader or aggregator. Some people believe that RSS feeds on specialized topics could displace traditional news consumption for significant sectors of the public.
The collaborative equivalent of storing favorites or bookmarks within a web browser, social bookmarking services (like del.icio.us or Furl) let people store their favourite web sites online. Social bookmarking services also let people share their favourite web sites with other people, making them a great way to discover new sites or colleagues who share your interests.
Social networking sites help people discover new friends or colleagues by illuminating shared interests, related skills, or a common geographic location. Leading examples include Friendster, LinkedIn, and 43people.
Keywords that describe the content of a web site, bookmark, photo or blog post. You can assign multiple tags to the same online resource, and different people can assign different tags to the same resource. Tag-enabled web services include social bookmarking sites (like del.icio.us), photo sharing sites (like Flickr) and blog tracking sites (like Technorati). Tags provide a useful way of organizing, retrieving and discovering information.
A collaboratively edited web page. The best known example is Wikipedia, an encyclopedia that anyone in the world can help to write or update. Wikis are frequently used to allow people to write a document together, or to share reference material that lets colleagues or even members of the public contribute content.