Web 2.0

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2011 paper: Section B: Question 5 (Characteristics of web 2.0 and example of technology) Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them. (Tim O'Reilly, founder of the web 2.0 conference) There are a number of characteristics which help define what is exactly a web 2.0 technology, and that any product claiming to be a web 2.0 one, must have. Web 2.0 describes both describes the actions of companies and software. We can therefore look at Web 2.0’s defining characteristics as “conceptual” and “technical”. The conceptual characteristics describe a company’s approach or way of thinking about their product, and technical characteristics describe the shared programming architecture principles of the product itself. Conceptual Characteristics

Service the Long Tail: The Long Tail, as noun, was coined by Chris Anderson, in a 2004 wired magazine article. Technically, the Long Tail is a type of “power curve” describing a statistical distribution characterized by a dense clustering of a population which “tails off”. For example, if you were to graph iTunes song sales on the X axis and song titles on the Y, you would end up with a Long Tail curve. One can use the curve to describe markets in general – with market value on the X axis and markets on the Y. Traditionally, companies like to identify one or two markets on the “head” of the tail. However the he Long Tail collectively represents a market far larger than the cluster of markets on the tail’s head. As Joe Kraus, founder of Excite and present CEO of JotSpot, puts it “Its no longer about [servicing] twelve markets of millions, it’s about (servicing) a million markets of twelve”. Users as a Source of Value: The Network Effect: The network effect is a simple...
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