I do not know what Web 2.0 means. Some say it’s merely a buzzword used by new Internet start-ups, powered by venture capitalism, as a way to generate hype; some say it’s a new style of design; some say it’s the new style of web development, i.e. Ajax and Ruby on Rails; and some say it’s simply the next step towards a Semantic Web. I doubt there’ll ever be consensus until what Web 2.0 is until is is was.
This matter came back up after I proposed various web design/web dev blogs leaving the 9rules Web++ community. Many web designers and web developers disliked this proposal, as Web 2.0 (or in 9rules l33t speak Web++) is also a style of design and development.
O’Reilly and MediaLive originally coined the term Web 2.0, and they too shared my concern over the non-defintitive definition.
There isn’t a line as to what is Web 2.0 and what isn’t. This makes categorising blogs awkward. If a blog is about nice rounded corner effects: is it about Web 2.0? If a blog is about new start-ups: is it about Web 2.0? If a blog is about Ruby development: is it about Web 2.0? For the first and last I would categorise them as design and development, respectively, but I’m fairly sure that designers and developers, respectively, would also categorise themselves as Web 2.0.
Then again, does a line need to be drawn? Perhaps Web 2.0 is the balance between design, development and business. But is Venture Capital and Web 2.0 the same thing? Nope, but they are linked.
Perhaps 9rules needs more communities. So as well as business you have venture capitalism; instead of design you could have web design and graphic design; instead of programming you could have software development and web development; and instead of Web++ you could have WebApps (and then split the remainder between web design and web development).
I think by the time the web20osphere decides what Web 2.0 is; the web30osphere2.0 will be trying to decide what Web 3.5 is.
Joe Anderson is the blogger at Webby’s World
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