Over at O'Reilly.net, Tim O'Reilly has written a rather longish article on the concept of "Web 2.0", first defined (according to Tim) during a conference brainstorming session between O'Reilly and MediaLive International sometime back in 2003. Web 2.0 centers around the concept of the Web as Platform (recent Slashdot articles about the Web as Platform). Google, of course, is the poster child for Web as Platform, being described as "an enabler or middleman between the user and his or her online experience." Other characteristics of Web 2.0 include Harnessing Collective Intelligence (example Wikipedia), Data is the Next Intel Inside (example Amazon.com's highly successful user rating system), End of the Software Release Cycle (example, Google's perpetual updates to its web indices), Lightweight Programming Models (example RSS), Software Above the Level of a Single Device (i.e. the service is accessible from a variety of devices, example accessing real time traffic updates), and Rich User Experiences (example Google Maps). A very interesting read concerning the direction the Internet is moving.