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Stephen Jones

Web 2.0 - what is it?

>The term Web 2.0 particularly bugs me. It's not a real
>concept. It has no meaning.

To me means sites which have a system which has a distributed nature *socially*, instead of being centralized.

So wikipedia is distributed - anybody can edit.  Britannica is centralized - only editors can.

Blogging is distributed - anybody can publish or comment - web pages aren't.

Flickr is distributed - it allows you to tag and share your images easily with anyone - something, say, Ofoto couldn't.

Taxonomy is a centralized system of categorization - folksonomy is a distributed system of categorization.

Napster - distributed, MP3.com not.

Bittorrent - distributed, Akamai - centralized.

Web services - allow for the building of a network of distributed applications (at least, that's the theory).

What is so hard to understand about this?
Colm O'Connor Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
I am going to wait until Web 2.1 comes out before I jump on that band wagon.
Bill Rushmore Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
The Internet is distributed. The "Web 2.0" is the Internet.
Toppy
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
The distinction is pretty subtle but I believe it exists.  There wasn't a big cabal of developers getting together and saying "lets make everything distributed" -- rather everyone came to that idea on their own and somebody else came along and said "hey, you know you're all doing roughly the same thing -- lets call it Web 2.0"

I'm not sure that's a bad thing.
Almost H. Anonymous Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
Not quite - it's taking advantage of the Internet's distributed nature. Web 1.0 sites ported existing metaphors (e.g. an online store) to the web without taking advantage.
Colm O'Connor Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
Everyone likes distributed stuff because you get alot of content for cheap.

The problem is the same one that you get at a meeting with no agenda... when you give everyone a voice, you discover that alot of what they say is pretty useless.

Wikipedia is cool and all, if you want to know about Klingons, but the pseudo-factual style, poor writing and overall quality make it a questionable resource at best.
Duff Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
I've been extremely impressed with the quality of Wikipedia on everything from Israel to design patterns.
Colm O'Connor Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
So what if I market Web 3.0 to mean "an Internet that gives people exactly what they want, when they want it"? I haven't told you any details of HOW it is to be implemented. We don't know if the current web is even capable of delivering on such a promise. But I guarantee you that thousands of companies would suddenly start claiming that they are "Web 3.0 compliant" without even knowing what it was.

What I find the most amusing is that they actually bothered to use a minor version number (.0) as if Web 2.1 will be something slightly better. This implies that it is a set of standards or technologies that will evolve over time and have different versions. Yet no one can even tell you what it is because it is so nebulous. Simply calling it Web2 would have been more fitting. Then it would be clear to everyone that it is just a marketing term and doesn't point to anything real.
Turtle Rustler
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
So, Web 2.0 means everyone can get their opinion out there, since it is based on the premise that knowledge is distributed.

Reminds me of the old - but still true - saying:

Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one, but no one is interested in anyone's but their own.
Ken Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
"To me means sites which have a system which has a distributed nature *socially*, instead of being centralized"

That's the problem - to you it means this, to someone else, it could mean something else.

Some of the same guys who are promoting Web 2.0 are the ones who said Microsoft was stupid for coming up with .Net.  To me, they are the same.  .Net was a catch all for a bunch of things.  Web 2.0 is the same.  That's why it doesn't mean anything, really. 

I do like the term Bubble 2.0, though.  Although that's not really true either.  All the same old ideas are back in a slightly different form, but now that we have AdSense you can make a little bit of money.
Scott
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
Ok, so I would assume that forums are "1.0" since they aren't mentioned in the buzz... But reformatting the first post in a forum topic so it looks like a newspaper article (i.e. blogs) is suddenly "2.0" tech?

People have been transferring files on IRC longer than by Napster.  Is IRC Web 2.0?

What about instant messaging?  TFTP?  DAV?
Matt Brown
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
>So what if I market Web 3.0 to mean "an Internet that gives
>people exactly what they want, when they want it"? I haven't
>told you any details of HOW it is to be implemented.

No, you haven't. Which is where you differ from Web 2.0.  There was a list of web 2.0 apps at the top of this thread - or "implementations" as they're otherwise known.
Colm O'Connor Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
>That's the problem - to you it means this, to someone else,
>it could mean something else.

Same for lots of words, dude. But you don't strip out every single word that has a loose-ish definition from your vocabularly do you?

Thought not.

Besides, it's meaning isn't exactly difficult to grasp and there is a consensus about what is and isn't web 2.0.
Colm O'Connor Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
Matt,

Yes, IRC and USENET are clearly Web 2.0 by that definition.  Distributed and everything.  Too bad everyone insists on reinventing the wheel. 

Nevermind both of them were around before http.
Scott
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
>Reminds me of the old - but still true - saying:
>Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one, but no one
>is interested in anyone's but their own.

Well thankyou for taking advantage of the technology in order to show us your arsehole.

Now put some pants on ;-)
Colm O'Connor Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
"Besides, it's meaning isn't exactly difficult to grasp and there is a consensus about what is and isn't web 2.0. "

Not true.
Turtle Rustler
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
Here's more info on this:

http://del.icio.us/tag/web2.0
frankr
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
I thought Web 2.0 was about making web sites interoperate without the need to write Perl scripts to scrape HTML, just a natural consequence of service oriented architectures. Maybe I should coin my own term for that? How about Masssive Architectural Distribution?

At least everybody agrees that Web 2.0 _isn't_ Ajax.
Rubinelli Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
Ged Byrne Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
'Distributed' seems to be changing meaning.

Wikipedia - all the content is on wikimedia servers. Distributed?

Flickr - all the content is on flickr's servers. Distributed?

Blogger - all the content is on blogger's servers. Distributed?

Folksonomy - lots of people contribute to a taxonomy, which lives in one place. Distributed?

See what I mean?

Now Usenet - *that's* distributed. P2P stuff also - ignoring any central matching servers...
Larry Lard Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
It seems to me that "Web 2.0" is rapidly losing its meaning.

I thought it meant a new class of web applications with rich user interfaces. But apparently it means harnessing collective intelligence. Or SOMETHING like that, anyway.
Luke Francl
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
Well, the big problem with the hype is that they don't really bring context and history. There is a serious group of people who do reference (for example) Vannevar Bush's work. I'm not at all knowledgeable about that stuff, but I am aware these people are skulking about somewhere and really know the issues. When I listen, they say remarkably lucid things.

The more hype-based world however seems to keep their pointers within an incestuous literature.
Tayssir John Gabbour Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
That said though, I haven't been paying attention to "Web 2.0" and I hope I'm wrong.
Tayssir John Gabbour Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
Tayssir John Gabbour,

You're likely not wrong.  Web 2.0 is all fluff.
vic
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
Read this, http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html

Put simply the browser is becoming a more of a applications platform than merely a presentation platform.

For what it's worth my 2 cents as to what it is.

First I think that Web anything refers mainly to browser based techonologies and methods and presentations. Any Web X.xx just defines an age or generation of technologies in common use.

Web 1.0 was mostly static or basic CGI apps. The most common use of web pages seemed to be making an online presentation of printed (or what could be printed) information. Hence the term web page. People then mostly asked and most links were for an actual page address.

I'd add a Web 1.5 in there too. This is when technologies like easier to use databases and browser plugins came in. Now a web page could be interactive with the reader. Then people started asking/linking site/director address versus a specific page address, since a page address could change frequently.

Web 2.0 is now where you're starting to have a level of user interactivity that wasn't thought possible in the pre IE/NS 3.0 broswer stages. It's no longer thought of visiting a website to just read something but to go to some and actually do something. The browser is no longer used to just present information. You can now create, and manipulate data with instant results and feedback .
Jason T. Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
'
"Besides, it's meaning isn't exactly difficult to grasp and there is a consensus about what is and isn't web 2.0. "

Not true.
'

The folks who like the idea of separating the ideas(s) of "Web 2.0" from the rest of the computing world - not me, btw - do seem to have a consensus.  Maybe not an *agreement*, but a *consensus*.  The collection of thought is close enough that they can live with fuzzy details where they & the next person disagree on particulars.
a former big-fiver Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
"It's no longer thought of visiting a website to just read something but to go to some and actually do something. The browser is no longer used to just present information. You can now create, and manipulate data with instant results and feedback ."

Wow. Do you actually believe this?

~10 years ago I developed a little web-app (using some oddball esoteric server-side scripting language) that allowed computer purchasers to "build" their PC, selecting the motherboard, then a compatible processor, and then the quantity of RAM, and so on. A _DECADE_ ago. Of course if I did it today it would be marginally different to the user - less disruptive updates - but to a user that's pretty marginal.

If an interactive web is Web 2.0, then surely we must be on Web 5.0 by now.
Dennis Forbes Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
I'd say it is more like Web 1.5. Web 2.0 to me would be something that used a new markup language and delivered richer highly interactive multimedia content. AJAX and DHTML are step in that direction, but aren't the "end all be all".
TimD
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
You dinosaurs, Web 2.0 is like so September 2005. I'm already working in Web 3.1
yanni
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
"It's no longer thought of visiting a website to just read something but to go to some and actually do something. The browser is no longer used to just present information. You can now create, and manipulate data with instant results and feedback ."

Well I guess I should have worded that better. Data interactivity in some form has always been with the web. But the presentation and level of interactiveness is changing and growing. From filling out a form, sending it and waiting for a response back. To having a form inform you of errors, change options, do calculations, change views, etc. as you fill out the form. And it's not limited to just filling out forms.

The web has moved beyond the direct paper mimcry it's been for so long to something a lot richer. The basic concepts and technologies by which things being done are not really new. But the way they're being used and the spread of that use is different enough to define a new period in what defines the web.

The web has been evolving for sometime into its own form of media that other media can't match. It's ability to disseminate and collect written, audio, visual, and non-tangible data whether it's centralized or not, with active user-interactivity is finally being taken advantage of. With things like the myriad of tools from Google, RSS Feeds, more focused targeted advertising, advanced sales, purchasing, and payment systems the web has a lot more realized and potential uses the html+cgi pages of a decade ago.
Jason T. Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
Web 2.0 is mostly a phrase that lets Tim O'Reilly get his name in the papers more.

I'll tell you outright that the easiest writing is opinion pieces.  Easiest not just because they flow naturally without a lot of technical research on the back end, but because people like to read them and editors like the readership boost.

Most of my writing has been technical.  The articles were occasionally noticed, but the audience is necessarily limited to people interested in that particular technology.  My most successful in terms of readership have been opinion pieces.  I don't write them often, but people read them in much greater numbers and they remember them.
Clay Dowling Send private email
Friday, October 21, 2005
 
 
Joel is confusing Marketing terms with Technical terms.

Hype is the nation's way of doing business.  Most nations.  Hype is the ex-lax of the economy, preventing economic constipation.  Joel should know -- his whole website/blog is a way to sell his software.  The advertisement is more entertaining than the show, so cut out the show!

JOS: the text is about development, the subtext is about Fog Creek.  It's okay, I like it.
Warren Send private email
Sunday, October 23, 2005
 
 
yanni,

And then after Web 3.1, you'll work on Web 95, followed by Web NT, Web 98, Web ME, Web 2000, Web XP, and Web Longhorn?
Otto Schmitt III
Monday, October 24, 2005
 
 
My God! Is this some kind of international whingers convention?

Lighten up! "Web 2.0" is a blatantly tongue-in-cheek term.

As for the thing itself, who cares what it's called? Or how "new" it is? Or that it's basically a marketing term?

The important point is somebody is trying to make fashionable a bunch of good ideas which smart people have been advocating for years, but the "common sense" of the industry kept denying.

Anyone who hasn't noticed that blogs have become popular and important; or that wikis are kind of useful, and surprisingly better than you might have guessed first time you heard the idea; or that RSS is a very cheap and simple way of doing something that 10 years ago people were trying to sell you million dollar workflow systems for; or that sites built to let customers talk to each other are more interesting than sites built as corporate brochures;  basically hasn't being paying attention.

Does anyone remember what it was actually like in web 1.0? When the pointy-haired bosses thought the web was another channel to be colonized by big media; and that content was to be horded away in walled gardens and doled out to greatful, passive consumers? Or that it was OK to erect technical barriers to prevent customers from leaving a  service? Remember when technical conversations were trade-secrets that mustn't be allowed out of your company? And when what Joel does here would be considered commercial suicide? Remember when sites were wannabe TV adverts rather than something to help the user?

What we can hope web 2.0 means is that finally people are going to understand what Joel and Cluetrain and Philip Greenspun and Dave Winer and Jakob Nielsen and all the other people who *did* understand the web, were trying to say all those years ago.
phil jones Send private email
Thursday, October 27, 2005
 
 

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