E-Commerce Times Talkback
See Full Story
Kathleen Gilroy, cofounder of Swift Media Networks in Boston, eats, lives and breathes Web 2.0. Not only is her latest business venture focused on Web 2.0 services for conferences, but she's also used just about every Web-based tool there is to run her own various startups. With five full-time staff members, she has become a well-seasoned user of blogs, wikis, collaboration tools and just about any other free or low-cost service she can leverage. "What's interesting about Web 2.0 is that it gives you access to markets [a small-business owner] couldn't normally reach," Gilroy said.
Like so many tech articles posted since Tim O'Reilly coined the term in 2004, this one references "Web 2.0" as if it were something tangible--or at least a concept with clear, concise definition. It is not. In 2006, Web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee sagely observed that "nobody knows what it means":
In 2007, Michael Wesch put together this video that supposedly "explains what Web 2.0 really is about":
It is a cool video. But the message is all about XML and how it can be used to separate form and content. There was no mention of CSS and XHTML, but no matter. I was writing XML parsers in the '90s, and XHTML/CSS web design pre-dates "Web 2.0" as well.
And now in 2008, the most honest thing we can say is that "Web 2.0" means whatever the techno-marketeer (ab)using it wants it to mean. Otherwise, why would intelligent people like Isaac O'Bannon still be writing articles asking "What is Web 2.0?":
And, why would McKinsey's just-released best-of-breed report entitled "Building the Web 2.0 Enterprise" ...
... include no attempt at defining the term other than to list the "Web 2.0 Tools" that comprise or enable it? And even there, the chief ingredient is identified only as "Web Services", adding more mystery to the mix as one ethereal term is offered up to explain another.
As originated in an Onstartups.com website design posting...
... "Web 2.0" is like pornography: Nobody has defined it, but you know it when you see it.
Bruce Arnold, Web Design Miami Florida