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Web developers, designers, bloggers, and even major media outlets have been abuzz with talk of "Web 2.0" last year. Though the term bears the familiar version number so often attached to software products, it doesn't actually refer to any one technology. Rather, Web 2.0 is the moniker for an emerging set of Internet-based tools and an emerging philosophy on how to use them.
The technologies encompassed by Web 2.0 include, but are by no means limited to, blogs, tags, RSS, social bookmarking, and AJAX. The philosophy focuses on the idea that the people who consume media, access the Internet, and use the Web shouldn't passively absorb what's available -- rather, they should be active contributors, helping customize media and technology for their own purposes, as well as those of their communities.
This philosophy contrasts sharply with the old "Web 1.0" methodology, in which news was provided by a handful of large corporations, Web pages were static and rarely updated, and only the tech-savvy could contribute to the development of the World Wide Web.
Of course, it may seem premature for nonprofits to be thinking about Web 2.0 when many haven't yet mastered Web 1.0, but Web 2.0 isn't just the latest new toy for geeks or the bleeding edge so beloved by entrepreneurs. It's the beginning of a new era in technology -- one that promises to help nonprofits operate more efficiently, generate more funding, and affect more lives.

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