The noise level on the “What is Web 2.0” discussion has, at least in my mind, officially passed the threshold into the purely academic and potentially ridiculous.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
- “Depending on who’s using the term, you could be talking about the Web as a platform for applications, a philosophy in building and designing Web applications, a group of powerful Web technologies, and much more.”
- “The Come To Me Web”
- “Web 2.0 is ‘what I want the Web to become’”
- “…a “collection of technologies – be it VoIP, Digital Media, XML, RSS, Google Maps… whatever …. that leverage the power of always on, high speed connections and treat broadband as a platform, and not just a pipe to connect.”
There are more (many more) but I’ll spare you. Today, Web 2.0 is a fun little label that the “technology thinkers” are enjoying these days. For me, all this discussion about what it really means leaves me with one true meaning: it means nothing. More importantly, it means nothing to anyone else.
None of these trends and technologies mean much of anything until they’re introduced to the world in a tangible and useful context. Good technology does not advertise itself. It simply makes things better without getting in the way. As technophiles, we tend to lose sight of this. The most popular tags on del.icio.us (a “Web 2.0” destination) are about technology. It’s great to see the tech community becoming richer, but let’s face reality – the old couple next door could care less about your Web 2.0.
Of course, once the technologists are done with “Web 2.0” and created enough buzz, the marketers, public relations people and their minions will take it and run – using it and abusing it to create a message that has little to do with whatever Web 2.0 was supposed to mean to begin with.
So let’s stop wasting our time on theory and philosophy and start thinking about how this stuff is going to change the world – the rest of the world that is.