Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Web 2.0 - What does this mean for writers?

Web 2.0 is a term that you might have seen bandied about the place, but not a lot of people really know what this phenomenon is. It's not a new secret type of internet that's better, faster and free that you haven't been invited to. In fact, it's no one thing.

To summarize Web 2.0 in one sentence I would say this: It is a change in the way publishers and browsers use the internet. This has all been made possible by PHP and SQL. PHP is a database platform, and SQL is the language you use to get info out of a PHP database. This allows for fantastic new web design concepts, and allows you to do many different operations on one page.

Take my blog, WriteNonsense for example. You see one page, but actually it is many pages stored in a PHP database. When you click on one of my post links, SQL fetches what you asked for. Ever been on Facebook? What you see there is a perfect example of Web 2.0 design and technology. It's simple, fast and easy for anyone to use, and you don't have to know any tech stuff to enjoy the new features we find all over the place.

The major difference that Web 2.0 has brought about is that the internet is now being used as a platform. Google Docs allows you to edit documents and spreadsheets, and save them, online. This is a little clumsy, but it heralds a whole new era. Imagine a few years down the line when everything we do is online, accessible from anywhere else in the world.

What does this mean for writers? Well, it means that we have to up our game. Web content is becoming more important, but also smaller. There is a greater search emphasis on links now than anything else and while that might swing back, we need to stay ahead. I suggest you go and Google "Web 2.0 design" and see what is cutting edge out there. The types of SEO articles that will be required soon will be vastly different from what we write now.

This is just a random thought, but I think we are going to see some remarkable changes in the way people use text to attract traffic. This will be because of the massive overflow of text documents that will now become available on the internet as a result of Web 2.0 applications and practices.

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