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What is "Web 2.0"? Originally, it was a meaningless phrase. Not anymore. Now it means a whole lot, and more.

There was no plan to say that there was a second version of the Internet. It was created to say that the Internet is there, and it is up and new things (the 2.0 part) are coming. They were right.

Currently, Web 2.0 is a conference. The first conference was held in 2004, and a second one was held the following year… where unfortunately only seven Internet experts attended. The name "Web 2.0" has meant several things to these people. At the first conference, it was just the conference name and a platform for the web. At the second, it was considered democracy. Now, it is meaning different things.

One ingredient of the meaning is "Ajax", or Javascript now works. The future of the Internet includes Javascript. A whole new generation of software is continually being written, tested, and released.

is free and it works. Articles that people have to pay to read might as well not exist because people do not want to spend money on something they will only read once.

With the Internet, people have learned how to publish their own work, whether it is posting it on their own site, on another site, or into an e-book. You control what is printed. Whereas with a newspaper or book, there is an editor, who controls what can and cannot go into the piece. This angers some people as they believe that editing a person's work is censorship and infringes on their right of free speech. On the Internet, it is the writer's work, full, unedited, in its truest form, that is posted. The problem with this, though, is that it may not read well or make much sense. Whereas with an editor, they can help the author smooth out the message so that it makes sense and reads properly.

The third and final ingredient is not maltreating others. Fair play and fair game. Websites used to treat the users with disdain. Not anymore. The reason they treated users with disdain is that the site owners felt as though they were giving away content free.

These three ingredients, "Ajax", "Democracy", and "Not Maltreating Others" are only part and parcel of Web 2.0. They are the major part of Web 2.0.

There is a common thread. All are being used – including Web 2.0 – as a label for something new. Web 2.0 also means using the Internet the way it was meant to be used.

People are using it the way it was meant to be used, and so much more. Google uses the Internet as it was meant to be used. That is what Web 2.0 is all about – using the Internet the way it was designed to be used.

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