Websites : The Evolution

If you’ve heard the term Web 2.0 you’ve probably also heard all the conjecture about what is and isn’t Web 2.0. Our interpretation is that Web 2.0 defines a new phase of a user centric web with innovation in native web applications. Regardless of terminology there is a definite shift in the innovations that are taking place on the web. This shift is taking the web:

  • From content centric to user centric models…
  • From the web as a virtual space for storing information to the web as a platform for services…
  • From program based innovation to web based innovation.

From Content Centric to User centric models

Websites started out as (and predominantly remain) content centric. Organisations often jumped into their web initiatives with intentions of meeting customer needs but with little understanding of how to do this. Often businesses fell back on the web being a store of information and adding their own store of content to the web which, like the universe, kept on expanding. Portal sites provided a useful business model to deliver useful information to particular industries and subgroups albeit with little interaction.

Our means of controlling this information was through search engines of which we saw many: MSN, Yahoo, Dmoz, Alta Vista, Excite, Looksmart all of which seemed much like each other with no real market leader.

One search engine experiment was a human edited directory by Dmoz called the Open Directory Project. They created a voluntary community of content experts to review websites and determine the categories to which websites belonged.

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