Part of the buzz about Web 2.0 applications is that the initiative promises to keep making familiar applications better, even as new applications are developed. Here are a few examples of what is happen with Web 2.0, and how these improved or new applications are making the Internet even more vital to the flow of information and commerce around the world.
One of the most important innovations for the individual consumer is the enhanced security that is now available with many online stores, auction sites, and other types of businesses where financial information is submitted. The task of hacking into client databases or intercepting and copying information as it is submitted to a server is much more difficult than it was five years ago. This is great news for the growing number of people who pay bills, handle banking, and purchase everything from groceries to high-ticket items online. Secure sites are now much more common that unsecured sites, and will no doubt continue to increase in number.
Voice communication enhancements are another example of the newer Web 2.0 applications. The use of the Internet to carry phone conversations through a process that is known as Voice over Internet Protocol has greatly altered the way many people use voice communications. Online telephone services have emerged that can offer national and international calling ability at very low rates. Voice communications via the use of online messaging tools has also become common. Overall, consumer costs for telecommunication services that once were considered expensive are now often available for a fraction of what they costs ten years ago.
Finally, text and images are now improved with Web 2.0 applications that have taken the older technology and enhanced them. HTML is an excellent example. The newer XHTML allows for faster loading, clearer resolution, and easy use, even to a novice. There is no doubt that these new applications are making the Internet a safer and more user-friendly environment than ever before.