Flaming Web 2.0

Loraine Lawson

Is Web 2.0 really "hollow" and "buzzword-based"?


That's the point of view taken by Tim Berners-Lee, whom many acknowledge as the inventor of the Web as we know it -- Web 1.0, if you will. According to his research, there are now 12 2.0 concept technologies. (These, we gather, are like concept cars, which may attract a lot of attention but will never really be built.)


He's a technologist and, as such, we can understand his frustration. We're not merely talking about vaporware. We've upped the ante to vapor categories, like Enterprise 2.0.


We can also understand a technologist's objection to the suggestion (made, no doubt, by those evil marketers) that 2.0 is about new technologies. Berners-Lee is right when he says it isn't. But his assertion that if you "peek behind the Web 2.0 blog and wiki curtain ... you'll find the man pulling the levers is either an enterprise vendor or an analyst eager to sell to business customers," is a stretch.


The idea of mash-up, a key component of Web 2.0, didn't even come out of the business community. ChicagoCrime.org, the first prominent mash-up if not the first overall, was developed by a journalist as a side project. Okay, so IBM has embraced the idea. What's wrong with that?


The truth is that some of the core ideas of Web 2.0 are simply about individuals and small departments taking control of their own IT destiny instead of waiting for the centralized IT bureaucracy to integrate the two or three little databases they need to have integrated. It's a lot like the "invasion" of rogue PCs in the early days of Apple.


Having said that, we have to admit that those darned marketers are making Web 2.0 a lot more confusing than it needs to be.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Sep 5, 2006 10:28 AM Mike Mike  says:
I agree, It is confusing at times.  I see it as a paradigm shift backed by the technological advances enabling the social networking capabilities.  Mashups, composite apps, all are tools to enable this richer collaboration.   Always like your posts. Reply
Sep 5, 2006 10:45 AM ben ben  says:
It is the early bird who gets the worm. Look at  myspace - it is about to melt!  When the gap between a myspace friend and a 'real' friend widens then the whole thing becomes irrelevant.  Only the first movers have gleaned advantage and moved on. Nice article too!  Reply

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