WTF is Web 2.0?
6 September 2006 in General | Comments enabled

Web 2.0

Recently there has been some hot debate about what the definition of Web 2.0 is. We’re starting to see requests for ”Web 2.0 compliant” web sites and it’s all starting to raise some questions.

Just what the heck does Web 2.0 mean?

My personal view is that Web 2.0 has zero meaning but is more an annoying buzz word that has, unfortunately, caught on with people. I find it frustrating because their is nothing you can do now that you couldn’t do before which would add validity to increasing this arbitrary version number of the Web. It becomes dangerous when people ask for something that is Web 2.0 because almost everybody has a different interpretation of what it means.

I guess you could argue that a term doesn’t need a definition – much like the word “love”, it doesn’t have a singular definition but in technology a term should have a meaning in my view – we make things complicated enough as it is.

So in the interests of open discussion, what is Web 2.0 to you?

 - JD


21 comments. Add your own comment.

OJ says 6 September 2006 @ 15:30

The good intention behind the term Web 2.0 is sadly watered down to its new chameleon like form it has taken on. For some it seems to just mean AJAX with some drag and drop, for others it’s the “platform for services vs platform for applications?, for others it is just a way of saying that the internet as we know it has moved on and the wave of new technologies and user experiences are what they’re labelling Web 2.0.

Given the momentum it has as a term I can’t see it going away and will remain one of those things for a while that people throw around because it sounds cool.

Take XML or CSS, most business people don’t actually know what they are but they’ll ask you over and over if your solution or product has it, does it, makes it, uses it.

Why? Because they know it’s something they are meant to need, well chalk up Web 2.0 as the next on the list. The challenge for us in the industry is to try and give context and clarification to what they think they are asking for and if all they really want is AJAX and some drag and drop or even just something “new? then just go with it I say.

Tim Haines says 6 September 2006 @ 16:35

“We’re starting to see requests for ?Web 2.0 compliant? web sites”. Who’s the we’re in this – is Intergen starting to get these requests? Web 2.0 compliant seems an oxymoron to me.

traskjd says 6 September 2006 @ 16:39

Thanks for the comments guys :)

Tim, if you see it as an oxymoron then clearly you have a definition for Web 2.0 as you see it? I’d be interested to hear what you would define it as?

Perhaps there is a business opportunity in developing a Web 2.0 compliancy checker (only $5 per page validated ;) )

– JD

Tim Haines says 6 September 2006 @ 16:43

Yeah – that’s easy. User generated content with rounded corners. Simple screens where one users contribution impacts another users experience. Actually – I don’t have a definition, and that was my point. It’s undefinable, and therefore impossible to comply with, leading to the oxymoron in “web 2.oh compliance”.

Tim Haines says 6 September 2006 @ 16:44

By the way, I love your big wide “submit comment” button. That’s an example of web 2.oh. Even in IE it tries to have rounded corners – but IE6 screws the rendering up horribly.

traskjd says 6 September 2006 @ 16:46

You forgot gradient fills Tim, but I’ll let you off this time ;)

I’ve been tempted to ajax-ify the commenting process but until there is lots of commenting going on I don’t see the point :)

Thanks for commenting,

– JD

Tim Haines says 6 September 2006 @ 16:46

BTW – is it intergen you were referring to? Or was “web 2.0 compliance” your idea?

traskjd says 6 September 2006 @ 16:48

I usually try and avoid commenting on much relating to my work Tim :) Web 2.0 compliance is not my idea – I avoid the term like the plague.

– JD

James Newton-King says 6 September 2006 @ 17:03

Just a buzzword.

The best thing to come from Web 2.0:
http://www.newtonsoft.com/blog/archive/2006/03/16/The-Perfect-Quiz.aspx

Geek says 7 September 2006 @ 10:31

I really like that love is compared to “web 2.0″ :)

You know i’m not sure I’ve meet anyone who actually likes the term web 2.0. Perhaps if everyone just stoped talking about it, it would go away?

Haydn says 7 September 2006 @ 18:45

I agree with some of your comments that the hype around the term “Web 2.0″ and the fervent race to define it is a bit annoying – and getting requests for “Web 2.0 compliant sites” is crazy.

I don’t know what Web 2.0 really is and I’m going to stop (giving myself a headache) trying to define it.

I do know that it is much more than AJAX, Ruby on Rails, CSS, SOA or XML – for the smart developer they are the easy part. The hard part is using these Web 2.0 enabling technologie’s to develop successful applications with Web 2.0 hallmarks like collaboration, participation, user centric / task based design, are easy to use AND meet a business need (Hold on – did I just describe TradeMe?).

Web 2.0 is definitely here to stay so why not embrace it. Who cares what it’s called – To me, it’s an opportunity.

H.

Lastly – For an example of interest, look how many comments this post stirred up. I’d be interested to see some of the google analytics stats for it JD…

Nick’s Blog » Blog Archive » Web 2.0 Introduction says 8 September 2006 @ 11:42

[...] During an discussions over an RFP response earlier in the week the topic of Web 2.0 came up, this lead to a number of emails going back and forth around what this mystery term refers to and what it means for Intergen and our customers.  JD has posted an entry and it got a number of comments and it seems that the discussion is set to continue for some time. [...]

JD’s Weblog » Nick is Blogging! says 8 September 2006 @ 12:47

[...] Nick Urry, a fellow employee of Intergen has started blogging also on the bluecog domain. He’s a bit of a crazy guy, in a good way, and is likely to post about technology, monkeys and chocolate. He’s kicked off with his thoughts on the WTF is Web2.0 debate. He’s still working on the look and feel of the site but he has a keen eye for good looking sites so I’m sure it will come up sparkly. [...]

Alex says 9 September 2006 @ 14:58

JD,

I think Web2.0 is all about providing a conceptual model for the physical internet.

More here:
http://www.base4.net/Blog.aspx?ID=109

marksy says 9 September 2006 @ 22:19

Ugh, i thought it is just a light hearted idea about making websites better.

Like, “Lets make the next generation of websites we produce really user focussed, accessible, usable, smart, dynamic, scaleable, aesthetically pleasing… like, next gen.. or next version.. like version 2.0…. heh, lets call it web 2.0…”

so to me, i think its more of a metaphor of producing better websites. Rather than old clunky pieces of table-ised, heavy, font tags, roll over menus… etc

btw, i really hate roll over menus…

Ivan Porto Carrero says 10 September 2006 @ 09:32

I’d make a call to drop the web 2.0 description all together as it is meaningless and very confusing.
I’d opt for trying to build a usable web for both humans and machines interfacing on the available information.
If we can make it look cool in the process I’m all for it.
Asking someone to define web 2.0 would be like asking somebody to define why green is not such a nice color as blue.

traskjd says 10 September 2006 @ 17:17

Thanks for all the comments guys, much appreciated.

It would appear we’re all on the same page and that we are, as IT folks, going to need to do a bit of work to educate non-IT people out there that Web 2.0 isn’t something you license off company xyz for inclusion as a feature in your product.

Thanks again,

– JD

Cesar Maroun says 5 October 2006 @ 10:16

There never was Web 1.0 so there is no Web 2.0.
Web doesn’t have versions, Web has websites that make it a web. WTF !!! i can’t believe people just make up stuff, and other people follow… when i first heard this term (which is today) I thought: what kind of bullshit is that ?!! google is web 2, netscape is web 1… haaa ?!!!!!, no one owns the web!

marksy says 11 October 2006 @ 20:06

@cesar maroun

yeah they do, JD pwns teh web.. i heard rumors on the internets he does.

marksy says 21 October 2006 @ 03:03

oh… look what the fox dragged in:
http://web2.0validator.com/

Life focus pro says 3 March 2007 @ 21:56

I personally believe that Web 2.0 does have a right to be talked about and this post is another example to it. In my opinion its main concept is that now the content becomes more user generated than before. It is what I am doing now – writing a comment. The next generation is said to be about semantic web. Lets see how it develops.

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