Web 2.0 is the term used to describe a variety of web sites and applications that allow everyone in the Internet to create and share online information or material they have created.  A key element of the technology is that it allows people to create, share, collaborate & communicate.  Web 2.0 differs from other types of websites as it does not require any web  design or publishing skills to participate, making it easy for people to create and publish or communicate their work to the world. The nature of this technology makes it an easy and popular way to communicate information to either a select  group of people or to a much wider audience.

Web 2.0 technologies mean that the website is a Participatory Web which means the website is Interactive, Read/write web and they can do Sharing, collaboration, Reviews – comment on news stories,  Upload photos and Share digital videos. In addition, The Social Web which means Social networking and community-oriented sites such as myspace.com, friendster.com, facebook.com, twitter.com and so on. Web 2.0 website is a User-focused Web which means that the user needs are catered: participate, organise, read, write & play online.

There are eight different patterns of Web 2.0 which were identified by Tim O’Reilly. The first pattern is Harassing Collective Intelligent which will be the force of this week blog.

Collective Intelligence is a richly diverse domain of study and practice. Having an inclusive definition may help diverse practitioners work and explore together. One such definition might be simply: The INTELLIGENCE of a COLLECTIVE, which arises from one or more SOURCES.

Many websites today consist of a simple idea of community – users upload, download, share and discuss content. Over the last few years in fact these types of websites have exploded with popularity. The very principle of an online “community” at its very core is the principle of collective intelligence.

An example of a website using harnessing collective intelligence pattern is gdgt.com. The website focuses on product reviews, likes, dislikes and voting. Moreover, the website has a community support and answers, and discussion on various technological gadgets. The entire system is built and reliant upon a customer base providing data (such as the reviews and product information), information validation, and much more.

the downside of such a website is that the review may be effected by personal feelings. Therefore, the readers of such reviews might ask questions about the reliability, honesty of the review and so on. However, such a massive amount of information can assist the individual  to decide on buying a product as shown in the figure above. Collective intelligence is driving the development of modern websites and their success.

To conclude, ideally if you are creating or even optimizing a website for long term success then you should definitely jump into the community bandwagon. The gdgt.com case study has easily shown that the ability for users to interact with their website has become invaluable, to the point where entire websites can be created and even managed by the users themselves.


The University of Melbourne. (2008). Wikis, Blogs & Web 2.0 technology.

The Co-Intelligence Institue.

Tim O’Riely. (2005). Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software