One of my roles here at Forrester for the past year or so has been chief Web 2.0 cat herder. I’m by no means a Web 2.0 expert — I’ve just helped to coordinate our coverage. A large team of analysts has put our heads together to try to create a well-rounded Web 2.0 research agenda and formulate a consistent way to conceptualize and communicate about this giant hairball of a topic. We hope you’re seeing the results in our published research. Below is one result of our team meetings: a high-level Web 2.0 framework.
- Enabling technologies. Web 2.0 enabling technologies are the foundation underlying all the tools and applications you hear so much about, like blogs and wikis and tagging. Web 2.0 enabling technologies include things like XML, AJAX, Flash and Flex, mashup makers, and Web services.
- Web 2.0 tools and applications. Web 2.0 tools and applications allow people to create and share content more easily than ever before. These include blogs, wikis, social networks, rich Internet apps, mashups, RSS, podcasts, widgets, tagging, etc.
- Behavior changes. It’s because of the behavior changes these technologies accompany — or enable — that makes us able to call out a Web 2.0 movement. With people using Web 2.0 tools and applications like those listed above, power has shifted from organizations to their customers. Not everyone is out there blogging and tagging; we’ve found that people fall into seveal buckets: creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, and inactives. Charlene Li and other Forrester analysts have published lots of great research on this topic — and she and Josh Bernoff have a book about coming out in a few months, called Groundswell.
- Major Forrester themes. Here’s where we get to the "so what?" Via our research themes, Forrester answers questions like "What does Web 2.0 mean for software developers? For marketers? For technology strategists and marketers? Information and knowledge management professionals? " Here are links to some of the more recent seminal Forrester reports (sorry, only available to Forrester clients) on Forrester Web 2.0 themes: Social Computing, Information Workplace, Web3D (coming soon!), Tech Populism, and Dynamic Business Apps.