"Web 2.0" Patterns
This article tries to define what these "new Web 2.0" applications distinguish from the Web-applications we have seen the years before. The article covers the "Web as Platform", new concepts of web-services and applications as well as the social phenomenons emerging around these new services.
Besides the fact, that new technologies like Ajax, Flash, OpenLaszlo, Rails and the like push the development of new and rich Web-Interfaces (which is an SE topic itself), the most interesting aspect for me at the moment, is the discussion of the "End of the Software Release Cycle". Particularly the second assumption: "Users must be treated as co-developers" is (from my point of view) the most relevant and stunning new phenomenon in the new "Web 2.0" and "E-Commerce" concepts.
In and Out
- reporting bugs
- helping new users in the mailing list
- providing information in the project Wiki
- writing tutorials
- Amazon partly builds upon the workforce of users commenting books, CDs and so on: these comments are actually for free (from the perspective of Amazon), and the customers are providing work that was until now paid for.
- Flickr builds also upon the idea, that users tag pictures, hence they provide the necessary information for the company to build efficient categories and search functionality.
- Even if customers do not provide active work, their sheer activity on the website is used: for example Amazon evaluates the click streams and buying behaviour and creates additional functionality for their website: "What do customers ultimately buy after viewing this item?"
- Google evaluates Websites and searches from users; analyses the work web-authors do, for example by making references to other pages. This information is a core necessity for their page-ranking algorithm. The data comes from customers.
- Google provides a fundamental Maps framework; in the future the rich Map-applications will be provided by "customers"
Similar concepts can be seen in online gaming: "monolythic" games will be, in my opinion, replaced by platforms where users very actively will contribute their designed landscapes, characters, weapons, and so on.
This trend will pose significant changes on companies and developers who still stick to old software engineering paradigms.
This will more and more effect the relationship between customers and producers, the way sotware is developed and eventually the relationship between companies and their employees.