The term Web 2.0 has taken the Internet industry by storm with legions of Web sites claiming to follow its tenets.

Executives frequently cite the phrase to refer to a new generation of Web sites that are far more dynamic than their predecessors. Instead of a solitary experience, like reading a newspaper or a catalog online, these Web sites allow users to interact with each other and help shape what appears on the screen.

Think of Web sites that call on visitors to share vacation photos, bookmarks, gift wish lists, restaurant reviews and concert listings with millions of others. The more users who add data, the better the experience is supposed to be.

"We've evolved from the static online content of online retailers to sites that are sharing information and collaborating like never before," said Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, a San Francisco technology news site that qualifies as a Web 2.0 company.

But despite all the buzz around Web 2.0, skeptics abound. Many insist the term is simply a marketing gimmick coined to make old ideas seem new.

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