You know, it seems pretty commonplace for web firms to describe their services as “Web 2.0” but if you were to ask them what that meant you’d get a variety of similar answers along the lines of “websites with greater interactivity.”

While that is part of it, it’s really something a little more specific and most people aren’t really aware of the origins. It’s not a new version of anything technical nor is it a guideline or standard you adhere to.

Remember the boom and bust? I do! I lost a lot of money while I was in school investing in overnight successes (or failures as it were).

Web 2.0 was a term coined by O’Reilly Media in 2004 used to describe the new wave of web technology that came about after the “pretenders” had disappeared. So many businesses had rushed to capitalize on the potential success the web was able to offer but without having all the pieces put together, many of these would-be successes failed under the pressure of too much debt and too little income or growth.

According to Tim O’Reilly:

“Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as a platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform.”

Many of the most popular sites these days, such as Google’s APIs, Flickr, Facebook and LinkedIn are great examples of the level of interactivity and utilization of web services to build a better internet.