Buzzword soup: web 2.0, hype, and other random thoughts

Today I pieced together some random thoughts on web 2.0.  Here they are, sloppily weaved together.

Calcanis "gets it". His blog post about paying digg diggers was digged, flickr'd, del.icio.us'd, and even TechCrunch'd (hey, even bad publicity is still good publicity). Before its all over with, this will probably be IT Conversation'd (or should I say GigaVoxed? Conversation Networked? I'm not sure which it is these days) by Doug Kaye and PodTech'd by Robert Scoble (or John Furrier) too. Bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters will pitch in their two cents, providing even more Google Juice, technorati tags, and meme-tracks back to him. All because blogs can do something that old media never could.

Ending up on slashdot or BoingBoing or even Robert Scoble's blog will get you word of mouth buzz that travels faster than lottery balls through a "Stevens Tube". You might even get Steve Gilmor's attention. We saw the same thing on the same blog when Amanda Congdon left Rocketboom: the job offer was heard all over the place: taking advantage of what the blogosphere is talking about and refocusing some of that attention on yourself.

Tim O'Reilly will tell you that web 2.0 is all about "systems that harness collective intelligence". I guess web 2.0 is a people mashup. I don't like the term “web 2.0“, but I'll accept it as a poorly chosen name that does have a useful definition that is separate from “web 1.0“.

Said another way, “web 2.0” is also about systems that enable by distributing the contributions of individuals to the many: blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc (oh wait, thats web 1.0 too, right?  Thats why I don't like the versioning choice). Its a step closer to the ultimate symantec web.  Micro-formats are letting us share more kinds of data in a machine readable and distributable format. 

Being "Powered by Ajax" doesn't make you web 2.0, but RSS does.
ASP.Net doesn't, but Atom does.
Google search doesn't, but Digg does.
Geocities didn't, but Myspace (unfortunately) does.
Conferences don't do this, but "Unconferences" do.

Speaking of unconferences:  what if, at TechEd, attendees could have a real conversation with Ray Ozzie instead of watching a scripted presentation? Instead you have a one-way presentation by Ray, and a backchannel conversation on IRC going on between a bunch of people holding a bag full of schwag with more ads than a Nascar Nextel Cup Coca Cola 600 race at Lowes Motor Speedway.  If that bag of schwag was html it would be the blink tag.  Look at Dave Winer's Bloggercon, or Chris Pirillo and Ponzi's Gnomedex. These events get real people involved, where ideas can be pinged back and forth, collective intelligence harnessed and freely available to those in attendance. But you don't even have to attend: you can catch the audio on your iPod or Pocket PC or listen/watch the live stream.

Amazon is leveraging web 2.0 with its Simple Storage Service (aka S3), Simple Queue Service, and others. S3 lets you securely and inexpensively store and access data remotely. S3 is making it easier for the individual to distribute to the many. Amazon's S3 API is open, and there are third party S3 API's available for many different platforms.

But its not just individuals who's data and thoughts are being shared, even corporations are becoming more transparent, offering open-for-comment company blogs, individual employee blogs, product video blogs, OPMLs for all their rss/atom/rdf feeds, widgets and modules to plug-in to this service or that, open api's for developers to use to consume their services from their own apps in their own way (except for AOL, who's new services won't let you dare to mix with their competition, no big shocker there). People are mixing and mashing and searching and (where2.0) mapping.  Speaking of new services, have you noticed that all these new services that are popping up are using REST? It seems like there is not as much SOAP scum floating around tech news these days.

Seriously, I know I'm not the first one to say it by a long shot, but isn't all this "web 2.0" hype way out of control? Shouldn't it just be "the web"? Why is there a version number? I hope there is no "web 3.0". I think web 2.0 copied its answers off of web 1.0's term paper.

When every company starts offering a new alpha-beta live web 2.0 powered by ajax wiki (code-named Raleigh-Durham) with an open api for .net java asp jsp php, rss feeds, a tag cloud, and their own "technical evangelist" - what will the Internet be like?

Print | posted on Wednesday, July 19, 2006 12:15 PM

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