At the CSW XML Summer School this year I gave a talk on Web 2.0, in the Trends and Transients track. I’ve been pondering whether to write it up as a series of postings or not; there’s so much hype and information around Web 2.0 that many people are bored silly with it now. I decided it’s probably worthwhile since I found some ways of organizing the features commonly associated with Web 2.0 that I haven’t seen elsewhere.
I’ve created a series of posts, of which this is the first. The links will become active as I publish the posts.
The big thing about Web 2.0 is the concept that lots of people want to have a say, and that many of them have something valuable to say. The idea is that systems that give people a voice, and that enable them to take part in discussions, have value. It’s no longer the case that only specialists or celebrities can have their opinions published, ordinary people can too. This idea that users can create the content that other users read or view has its detractors of course, but they tend to be outnumbered by the proponents (or is it just that the proponents are louder?).
The marketing hype tends to overshadow everything of course, and now we’re getting into the silly season where every new idea is labelled with its own Web x.x variant. Pretty soon we’ll be replacing the number and appending the year, just like happened with operating systems, then with names taken from obscure or made-up languages. Web 2.0 as a feature set is, however, worthy of attention, even if the marketing hype gets a bit much.
I’m not going to discuss new developments such as Google’s OpenSocial API in this series; it’s too new for me to be able to say anything useful on whether it will change the big picture, or just the details.
If you’re looking for a publication with a lot of detail, try O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Radar Report. It’s expensive, but it has a lot of material and references in it, as well as recommendations for best practices. Worth reading if you have to make bet-the-company business decisions about this stuff.