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Designing Your Site for Web 2.0

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  • Kim Roach
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      Article Title:

      Designing Your Site for Web 2.0

      Article Description:

      Have you heard it? There's a buzz like never before on the
      Internet. Everyone is talking about Web 2.0. If you're like many
      people, you may think it's a marketing gimmick and quite an
      overused statement. If so, you would be at least partially right.
      Fortunately, there's another side to the story.

      Additional Article Information:

      1045 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
      Distribution Date and Time: 2006-07-12 11:12:00

      Written By: Kim Roach
      Copyright: 2006, All Rights Reserved
      Contact Email: mailto:kim@...

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      Designing Your Site for Web 2.0
      Copyright � 2006 Kim Roach, All Rights Reserved

      Have you heard it? There's a buzz like never before on the
      Internet. Everyone is talking about Web 2.0. If you're like many
      people, you may think it's a marketing gimmick and quite an
      overused statement. If so, you would be at least partially right.

      Fortunately, there's another side to the story. Underneath all of
      the chatter is a concept that is even more powerful than the
      hype that surrounds it.

      The concept of Web 2.0 started as a conference brainstorming
      session between O'Reilly and MediaLive International. During
      their discussion, they analyzed the companies that had survived
      the dot-com collapse. Interestingly enough, many of these
      companies had quite a few things in common. Was there a
      connection? Was the dot-com crash a turning point for the web?
      O'Reilly and MediaLive believed so. And therefore, Web 2.0 was

      So, what is it?

      Wikipedia defines Web 2.0 as:

      "The term Web 2.0 refers to a second generation of services
      available on the World Wide Web that lets people collaborate and
      share information online. In contrast to the first generation,
      Web 2.0 gives users an experience closer to desktop applications
      than the traditional static Web pages. Web 2.0 applications
      often use a combination of techniques devised in the late 1990s,
      including public web service APIs (dating from 1998), Ajax
      (1998), and web syndication (1997). They often allow for mass
      publishing (web-based social software). The concept may include
      blogs and wikis."

      There is no official standard for what makes something "Web 2.0",
      but there are certainly a few common attributes that often
      describe this new culture of transformation.

      You can see many of these concepts in sites like Flickr,
      del.icious, Wikipedia, Amazon reviews, and the eBay reputation

      Web 2.0 is built on a system of collective knowledge. It provides
      a social fabric for the Web, empowering the individual and
      giving them an outlet for their voice to be heard.

      However, we have only seen a small glimpse of the effects of
      these new transitions. Del.icio.us and Digg are just the
      beginning of what will soon become a much more interactive Web.

      Each day there are a variety of new online applications being
      released: online spreadsheets, online word processing, to-do
      lists, reminder services, and personal start pages.

      In addition, many of the changes that are evident in the world of
      Web 2.0 can be seen through common design practices. Old-school
      HTML was full of boxes and square tables. Today's web designers
      are rapidly moving away from boxy designs to flexible curves.
      When designing for today's Internet, it's all about rounded
      designs, nice big text, gradients, glassy effects, and bright

      Rounded Corners:

      Let's face it. The days of good 'ol tables and square boxes are
      good and gone. The Web 2.0 era has ushered in the pleasing sight
      of rounded corners.

      Unfortunately, many web masters have spent unending hours trying
      to obtain perfectly rounded corners. Their pain and suffering
      has led to a number of tutorials that will help us bypass the

      Below are some links to tutorials that will get you started
      creating your very own rounded corners:


      Nice Big Text:

      Have you ever been to a web site where you could barely read the
      text? Well, join the club. Fortunately, times have taken a turn
      for the better. With Web 2.0, oversized fonts have come into
      style. You can start using plenty of oversized text to make
      important messages stand out. Of course, you don't want all of
      the text on your web site to be supersized, but make sure that
      the most important text on the page is bigger than normal text.

      You can see some examples at:



      Gradients are another popular design element of Web 2.0. This is
      especially true of backgrounds. A common background used today
      has a gradient at the top, fading down to some other color that
      continues throughout the background for the rest of the page.

      For a complete tutorial on how to create this type of effect, go
      to http://www.photoshoplab.com/web20-design-kit.html.


      Web 2.0 sites are strongly defined by their colors. They nearly
      always use bright and cheery colors - lots of blue, orange, and
      lime green.

      They also often include large, colorful icons, sometimes with
      reflections and drop shadows. To see some samples of how web
      sites are effectively using bright colors, check out:


      Other common design characteristics include the use of tabs,
      reflections, glassy effects, large buttons, and big text boxes
      for submission forms.

      Sites that are embracing Web 2.0 can also often be identified by
      their tag clouds. If you have traveled the web much in the last
      6 months, then you have surely seen tag clouds. They are used
      prominently on del.icio.us, Technorati, and Flickr. A tag cloud
      is basically a visual depiction of the conent on a website. Often
      times, more popular tags are shown in a larger font.

      Why not add a tag cloud to your own site? Not only do they look
      cool, but they also provide your visitor with a search tool that
      helps them to find your content quickly and easily.

      You can create your own tag cloud with a very simple service
      called Eurekster Swicki (http://swicki.eurekster.com/). This is
      a community-based search engine that creates free tag clouds for
      web sites.

      Although we have discussed many of the design elements associated
      with Web 2.0, this change is much more than just an aesthetic
      transition. Web 2.0 is essentially about a transition in the way
      we experience the Internet. The new Ajax programming base allows
      web masters to create an architecture of participation for their
      users. Web 2.0 refers to the ongoing transition to full
      participation on the Web.

      Your web site can be so much more than an information resource.
      Your web presence is a place. With the proper programming skills,
      you can create a virtual world complete with an online shopping
      mall that compares prices from a variety of merchants, looks for
      potential coupons, and displays Amazon reviews.

      In addition, traditional desktop applications are rapidly
      becoming available online as a service. Why not offer your
      visitors the ability to create their own to-do lists, online note
      pads, reminder services, and personal start pages?

      Create an experience, not just a site.

      Kim Roach is a staff writer and editor for the SiteProNews
      (http://www.sitepronews.com) & SEO-News (http://www.seo-news.com)
      newsletters. You can contact Kim at: kim@...

      This article may be freely distributed without modification and
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