“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.” Tim O’Reilly
Web 1.0 was the imitation of print media online and other than perhaps a basic search and possibly a facility to order there was no real ability for the user to interact with the site or other humans. This is still sadly in many cases still the norm, have a look at some of the successfully sites on the web right now.
It was the growth of the Web 1.0 site and ecommerce that gave birth to user experience and page analytics, the creators and innovators in these fields that changed business understanding of the potential and potential to build some form of meaningful customer interaction.
www.bbc.co.uk is a prime example of effective web 2.0 a website that allows the user to configure the layout and functionality. As a user quickly has their own personnel version of the site which allows them to quickly get the information that is of interest to them.
The BBC “have your say” section has several examples of great interaction look at the recent “Diana inquest: Your reaction” which has 227 pages of comments from members of the public with about 15 comments on each page. The also provide a method of interacting for users who are not willing to comment or support a person’s opinion.
Along with iPlayer and other interactive functionality I believe you are going to have look hard to find a better example of web 2.0 used in a almost commercial/informative environment.
Many ecommerce sites are beginning to move towards the adoption of Web 2.0 technology to improve sales, by allowing users to rate, recommend products and create a community based environment to engage with users and bring them back to the site.
As Web 2.0 is only really becoming understood now by the majority of developers, business and users there is already discussion of Web 3.0 the Semantic Web. The future will definitely see much more meaningful user interaction between business – customers and community – interest groups. It will be several years before Web 2.0 becomes the normal web experience but at this point we will begin to truly move towards use the technology.