The essence of Web 2.0 is based on the slogan 'don't fight the Internet' coined by Eric Schmidt. Web 2.0 websites allow users to do more than just retrieve information. Users can own the data on a Web 2.0 site and exercise control over that data. Web 2.0 is the web as a blank canvas with the common user as the painter.
Web 2.0 is social, it’s open (or at least it should be), it’s letting go of control over your data, it’s mixing the global with the local. Web 2.0 is about new interfaces - new ways of searching and accessing Web content. And last but not least, Web 2.0 is a platform - and not just for developers to create web applications like Gmail and Flickr. Web 2.0 is about the people, when it comes down to it. So it has to be inclusive. The definitions of technologists, social scientists, web designers, philosophers, educators, business people, anybody - they all count. If Netscape was the standard bearer for Web 1.0, Google is most certainly the standard bearer for Web 2.0.
A video created by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultutral Anthropology at the Kansas State University for his students is the most simplest and interesting way to figure out what Web 2.0 is all about.