Proponents of Web 2.0 are very clear that this concept is not something that will come to pass in the future, but is a phenomenon that is already among us. To that end, supporters of the concept of Web 2.0 readily point to online sites and applications that already employ factors that are understood to define this second generation of web use. Here are some commonly cited examples of Web 2.0 applications for you to consider.
At the lower rungs of these types of applications rest those functions that can function in an offline environment, but provide added features when operated in an online environment. One common example of this type of second-generation application are a number of the electronic games we all enjoy. While it is possible to purchase the games on disk and play them without an Internet connection, many also come with the option to go online and enjoy additional features with the games if desired.
Another example of these basic types of applications would be retail sites that function in both a virtual and a physical mode. Many popular retail chains continue to build more physical locations, but at the same time have opted to allow users the chance to place orders in an online environment. In some instances, there is even the option of either having the order sent through the mail or filled and held at the closest physical location. In other words, you can place the order online, have it sent to your local store, and then pick it up in a day or two, without the need to go through the hassle of making a prolonged shopping expedition.
A little higher in the food chain of Web 2.0 applications are those types of programs that allow for quick and easy access to a great deal of data. The online encyclopedias and glossaries that are equipped with search capabilities are an excellent example of this type of thing. Instead of having to rely on endless wading through electronic documents or going with an offline resource, these newer innovations help to make locating data much easier.
A third example of Web 2.0 applications have to do with quick and easy online commerce. Auction sites and stores that are set up specifically for online use fall into this category. These types of sites are accessible around the clock, function without using a great deal of resources on the user end, and in general expand shopping and buying opportunities significantly. Perhaps of all the type of applications that are classified as Web 2.0, these are among the most popular of all.