Web 2.0 and Google

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The internet started with a bunch of small, nice looking, clean websites. Then some more nicer websites were evolved. A few user services like e-mails were added. Websites primarily consisted of static content with some graphics and animations. The dot com boom of the late 1990s gave birth to many internet services, such as eShopping, eCommunities etc. Many new organizations came up and grew in this dot com revolution.

Then, with the advance in time, came the need to do more, do better and grow on the web. It was this motivation that lead to the development of Web 2.0. This phrase was coined by O'Reilly Media in 2004 and refers to the second generation of web-based services. The technologies in Web 2.0 add a new dimension to the Internet. Internet, no longer, is just an isolated silo of mere content, but has evolved into a highly efficient tool which provides incredible functionality to end users.

Web 2.0 applications include blogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds, web APIs, web standards, online web services among others. This is the latest buzzword among various technological communities. Currently, the Web 2.0 standard is not clearly defined and it is difficult make a distinction of a Web 2.0 service. A Web 2.0 website typically involves the use of technologies such as AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), XHTML (eXtensible Hyper Text Markup Language), RSS (Really Simple Syndication), Webservice APIs (Application Programming Interface) etc. The key elements of Web 2.0 are supported on the Web Communication protocols such as SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), which enable information exchange between different applications.

The web industry is in a race to take full advantage of these new technologies. The major players include Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. There is a heated competition between these companies to come up with the best web-based services. Many other companies such as eBay, FeedBurner, Wikipedia etc are also using the Web 2.0 platform.

Google, the leading search engine, is using the Web 2.0 technologies extensively for creating new services for the users. It offers a horde of services based on the Web 2.0 platform including its popular eMail service GMail. Google also offers services such as Froogle (online shopping cart), Analytics (Website Statistics), Page Creator (WebPage builder), Personalized Home, Maps, Groups, Orkut, Blogger etc which are some of the elite members of the Web 2.0 club.

Google earns most of its revenue from its advertisement program, AdSense. It uses Web 2.0 technologies to display advertisements relevant to the content of the website. It provided Google with a business model, which helped website owners to earn money inturn boosting its own revenue. Google AdSense is one of the most trusted advertisement program on the internet. Advertisers can display their ads using the Google AdWords service.

This is not the end of Google services. Google Labs, which develops most of the Google services recently came up with an online Spreadsheet package similar to MS-Excel. The advantage of this package is that a spreadsheet can be edited in real-time by multiple users. Google has recently acquired an online WordProcessor, Writely. Writely also supports multi-user, real-time editing. Additionally, it also allows you to transfer documents from your desktop and post your documents directly to your blog. Its a great upgrade from the good old MS-Word. Though, it may not include all the fancies of the MS-Word package but remember most of these services are currently in their beta phase.

Google is a company which is exploring the Web 2.0 technology the fullest. There may be a time when Google comes up with its own Operating System based on the Web 2.0 platform. We are living in the era where our lives have been 'Googleized' and 'Googlegiri' would certainly prevail.

P.S.: This document has been typed on
Writely, the online word processor by Google, built on Web 2.0 platform. It was a great experience to type and publish this post directly to my blog.


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