WordPress = Web 2.0?

In our tutorial this week (Net Communication subject, Melbourne University), we are discussing the following question:

“Go to WordPress.org and spend some time looking at its main features, promotional information and tutorials. What features can you identify in WordPress that define it as a Web 2.0 application? (refer to lecture notes and pages 109 and 110 of the Reader – Web 2.0 Design Patterns). How does it manage to be a sustainable model while also empowering “produsers” (refer to page 87 of the Reader – Harnessing the Hive)? Discuss as a group.”

In my group, Steven and I both agree that WordPress is indeed a Web 2.0 application as it has some major features such as it is user-generated, it is interactive, and it allows both the produser and user to interact more. The Oxford dictionary defines Web 2.0 as the “second stage of development of Internet”, which has certain striking features such as the change from static web page into dynamic pages (user-generated), and the increase of social networking sites (from lecture notes). Thus, WordPress in some sense enables the users to post their opinions and comments other people’s blogs, making it as one place to enhance social networking, as well as increases interactivity as it allows “two-way flow information” (O’reilly, 2005).

Here is what O’Reilly says about the difference between Web 2.0 and Web 1.0:

Web 1.0 Web 2.0
DoubleClick –> Google AdSense
Ofoto –> Flickr
Akamai –> BitTorrent
mp3.com –> Napster
Britannica Online –> Wikipedia
personal websites –> blogging
evite –> upcoming.org and EVDB
domain name speculation –> search engine optimization
page views –> cost per click
screen scraping –> web services
publishing –> participation
content management systems –> wikis
directories (taxonomy) –> tagging (“folksonomy”)
stickiness –> syndication

source: http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

In this sense, the shift between the interactivity is clearly seen. For example, before we have Britannica Online which only has produser –> consumer interactivity, but now we have Wikipedia which allows anyone to comment and edit, making the produsers to become users and vice versa.

Furthermore, he also elaborates that the web as the platform, which is clearly depicted in the diagram below:

Web 2.0

Source: http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

In terms of its design features, the reading (What is Web 2.0, O’Reilly) says that there are 8 striking features in Web 2.0.

1. The Long Tail – the internet content is made up of small sites, thus in WordPress, it enables to reach out to all the  users, to the long tail

2. Data is the next intel inside – Application are increasingly data-driven.

3. Users Add Value – WordPress definitely applies this concept because users highly participate, hence add value

4. Network Effects by Default – there will be defaults set up by the produser

5. Some Rights Reserved – The sites will always have intellectual property protection limit

6. The Perpetual Beta – WordPress is an ongoing service

7. Cooperate, Don’t Control – WordPress offers a set of services but they need to cooperate with the users to do it, and not control over the users

8. Software Above the Level of a Single Device – WordPress is readily accessible not only from PC, but also from mobile phone, etc.


O’reilly, T. (2005) ‘What is Web 2.0’, O’reilly Media, Inc., consulted 17 March 2011, http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

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