Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Another Web 2.0 Definition

I don't really care for the "Web 2.0" nomenclature—although I suppose that most alternative neologisms (such as Read-Write Web) seem equally and painfully trendy and, thereby, hugely grating. Tim Bray argues against the very substance of the term. I'm not sure I go that far. It's equally simplistic to view the mainstream Internet explosion through the lens of the Web, but it also seems both accurate enough and useful as a way of distilling enormously complex trends. As I wrote about earlier, Kevin Kelly's article that anchors the Internet as most people think about it to the Netscape IPO seems "true."

But if Web 2.0 is some generally common thing, even if its borders are fuzzy, what is that? Tim O'Reilly's Web2MemeMap is one such. (via Web As Platform from BEYONDVC). Let me suggest something simpler and more lighthearted for now. Try this on for size:

It's that collection of technologies and terms that 90 percent of the peopulation over the age of 20 has never heard of.


Anonymous said...

i am afraid you're showing your age buddy. kids under the age of 20 have never heard of web 2.0

they use services, but aren't thinking in the abstract. its us old bores talking about it. i hate to say it, but nicholas carr probably called it right when he called us elitist-hippie-boy-scouts

Gordon Haff said...

There's a lot of truth in your comment, James. As Hal Stern said at OSBC "To today's teenager, software as a service is how software's always been delivered." SaaS doesn't exactly equal Web 2.0 but it's how a lot of the Web 2.0 services are deliverd. (I would add, however, that a lot of teenagers are pretty familiar with the services like Flickr and RSS etc. which most older fogies have never heard of either individually or in the abstracted aggregate.)