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From Barnes & NobleWeb 2.0: Everyone's talking about it, and there's no shortage of books about the individual ground-level technologies involved. What's been missing, big time, is perspective. What is Web 2.0 turning out to be? What might you want to do with Web technologies? Which Web 2.0 business models make sense? How do the technologies work, how do they fit together, how do you choose among them? If you're among the many technical and business professionals desperately looking for real insight and context on Web 2.0, you've just found it.
The authors' opening "how we got here" chapter is superb, even if you've lived through much of the Internet revolution yourself. (Along with reminding you of some once-hot trends and technologies you might've forgotten, this mini-history nicely frames what's actually new about Web 2.0, and what isn't.)
Next, they take a high-level look at Web 2.0's "technical mechanisms": relevant APIs, Web procedure calls, tagging, and web development frameworks, including Ruby on Rails, AjaxTK, and OpenLaszlo. With that in hand, they turn to the implications of Web 2.0 technology for users and businesses, focusing on three key megatrends. The first: "data ownership" (who owns your blog entry, and who can monetize it?). The second: "software as a service" (covered here from both the provider's and consumer's perspective). The third, and perhaps most important: the socialization and co-creation of content, including social networks and social software.
Finally, they check in on the "Semantic Web," first envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee in 2001, and since then growing with less publicity than Web 2.0. According to the authors, there are many potential synergies between Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web's "new form of web content that is meaningful to computers." As the two grow together, we may see an even more remarkable "Web 3.0." Read this book, and you'll be ready. Bill Camarda, from the November 2007 Read Only