Web 2.0 – Has the term outlived its life?
Frequently I am asked the question “What work you done on Web 2.0?” and most of the time I do not know how to answer it. Invariably I start by trying to explain what I understand by Web 2.0.
If you recollect, the term Web 2.0 had been coined in the year 2004 by Dale Doherty and Tim O’Reilly. The theme of the first Web 2.0 conference was “Web as Platform”. Though, back then, the term was dismissed my many as marketing hype (here is an example), there was a slow acceptance. Gartner initially ignored it but finally recognized its existence in 2006 and included it their hype cycle.
Unfortunately, there was no standard definition of the term. I used to go by the explanation by the originator, which is nicely explained in the post “What is Web 2.0?“. In that Tim O’Reilly had identified 7 characteristics:
- The Web As Platform
- Harnessing Collective Intelligence
- Data is the Next Intel Inside
- End of the Software Release Cycle
- Lightweight Programming Models
- Software Above the Level of a Single Device
- Rich User Experiences
It has been about 3 and a half years since the post and I think it requires a relook. We have specific terms covering each of these concepts.
|From (2005)||To (2009)|
|The Web as Platform||Cloud Computing|
|Harnessing Collective Intelligence
Data is Next Intel Inside
|Social Computing and Sharing|
|End of Software Release Cycle
Lightweight Programming Models
|Software Above the Level of a Single Device
Rich User Experience
|Multi-Channel User Experience|
To this you need to add the technology terms like:
- RIA (Rich Internet Application)
- WOA (Web-Oriented Architecture)
Also, you have many many variants of Web 2.0 like Enterprise 2.0, Travel 2.0 etc. Today I read an article from HBR talking about Finance 2.0. I have even seen the term Women 2.0!
I suggest that you do this exercise. Think of any word – add 2.0 to it – Google it. Can you find a word which does not give you a site explaining what 2.0 of that word means?
Therefore, if you are asked “What work you done on Web 2.0?” the question may refer to any of these points.
So, what do you think? Has the term outlived its life?