The Day Web 2.0 Died

For a lot of people, the term “Web 2.0,” ceased to mean anything real a long a time ago. For some, it never really meant anything to begin with. As someone who writes about the so-called second version of the web for a living, I think I’ve held onto the Web 2.0 term as long as I could. But today, “Web 2.0″ has officially jumped the shark for me. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop using it — as a blanket term to describe the industry that I write about it can be helpful — but I have to admit that it has now become somewhat of a parody.

Defining Web 2.0 has been something like a fun parlor game for a few years now. There’s a long history of people trying to come up with a unified definition of Web 2.0. But like the elusive theory of everything in physics, a single, agreed-upon definition of what Web 2.0 really means has been hard to come by.

Probably the most widely accepted definition is Tim O’Reilly’s compact definition: “Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as a platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform.”

But even O’Reilly’s definition has changed and evolved to get to that point.

So what caused me to finally admit that Web 2.0 has jumped the shark? It was waking up today, and finding a link to this story at PC World, a very mainstream computer publication: Web 2.0 Tactics for Successful Job-Hunting.

Among the “Web 2.0 tactics” that PC World recommends: letters of recommendation, staying current with your skills, and networking. Isn’t that how people have been searching for jobs nearly forever? What the heck is “Web 2.0″ about that? The only item on the list that could be even mildly considered to have some sort of tie in with what we generally like to think of as Web 2.0 was “Upgrade your online image,” in which the authors recommend joining relevant online social communities like LinkedIn, and Twitter, blogging, and making sure your profiles at other social sites are clean of college party photos.

In other words: Web 2.0 is now a mainstream marketing term. In reality, Web 2.0 has always been a marketing term. O’Reilly’s company, which owns the trademark on the term, uses it to promote their hugely successful web-focused conference series, for example. But until today, I hadn’t actually seen it applied in a way that so blatantly targets a mainstream audience in an effort to make something rather dull appear more hip (I’m sure it’s happened before, this was just the first time I’ve seen it).

All that said, the confusion over Web 2.0 — whatever it means and however it is now being used — has been helpful.

Last April, I wrote that there really is no such thing as Web 2.0, or Web 3.0 for that matter, there is just the web. “Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 — they don’t really exist. They’re just arbitrary numbers assigned to something that doesn’t really have versions,” I said. “But the discussion that those terms have prompted have been helpful, I think, in figuring out where the web is going and how we’re going to get there; and that’s what is important.”

I think that’s still true, and as long as we continue to have that discussion and attempt to define these nebulous ideas, we’ll continue to get value from the discussion. I wrote in April that instead of telling people I write about Web 2.0, I’d tell them that I “write about the web, what you can do with it now, and what you’ll be able to do with it in the future.” I haven’t done a very good job in keeping with that promise, but I still like the idea.

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  • http://lukep.net lukemeister

    I still get a kick out of asking clients/colleagues what they they’re interpretation of web 2.0 is when they bring it up. I’ve never got the same answer twice, and usually they’re just trying to say they want nice graphics and want fancy javascript validation on forms. Good times. So what’s next, Web 2.1 or Web 3.0?

  • Koistya `Navin

    Great post. I always been suprised how many defenitions people were giving to “Web 2.0″ term. For that reason I avoid using it.

  • Y.O.Morales

    I don’t agree with the notion that ‘web 2.0′ is devoid of any meaning. It simply marks a stage of evolution of the web; one with bigger and more integrated web applications, new technologies and practices, etc. The web, some years ago, lacked any of these and that was precisely another (past) stage of its evolution.
    Sure, the web is still the web, but it does have versions or, like I said, stages. In an analogy, human beings also have stages (child, teenager, adult, etc.) but still remain human. Web 2.0 marks a current stage and, in the future, when new technologies we didn’t though about emerge, it’s gonna be 3.0.
    In conclusion, web 2.0 is not dead or empty.

  • roosevelt

    I believe Dan Cobb was trying to motivate people for networking and stay current with technologies. Lot of qualified candidates doesn’t know the ropes of business and exactly how to get a job. And also, the fields they work for are changing in a regular basis. (e.g. few years ago there was only HTML and Javascript. But now there’s the concept of Ajax, RIA, etc…

    In my view, he just tried to capture the attention of his audience with the brand name, web 2.0. And hopefully it will motivate the unemployed to learn about the latest technologies, instead of relying on what they learned in college/universities.

  • http://www.studio-gecko.com/ XLCowBoy

    I think the version terms can easily be regarded as how casual users view the web. I would peg it at a 10-year cycle.

    E.g. in 1995, “back then”, it was web 1.0 – with all the tables, blinky gifs, and frontpage.

    Come 2005, it was web 2.0, or “today”, where we have google, social networking, ajax, and YouTube.

    Hence, I expect to hear web 3.0 around 2015, where we probably have a great majority of AIR/Gears/etc.-type of systems, touchscreens, hi-def streaming video, a shift of news and television media to online sources, and integrated networks for all platforms: smart phones, mac’s, and pc’s.

  • William Smith

    I couldn’t agree more with your post Josh. Back in 04-05 when this term came into the web “lexicon” it didn’t really mean that much. Now that it is 08 it is dated and comical.

    Pretty much every site should offer interactive services to their users. That’s just a best practice these days. Javascript, AJAX and database driven content are givens.

    I find it even more curious when people attach the 2.0 label to other disciplines in advertising. Email 2.0… PR 2.0.. And you’re right, when you ask them to define it they can’t.

    Best,

    William Smith
    Search Marketing
    Off Madison Ave
    http://www.offmadisonave.com
    @williamsmith on Twitter

  • mikemike

    Web 2.0 can’t “end”. It never “started”. It’s not the existence of bubbly graphics, and drop shadows. Web 2.0 is the onslaught of new technologies that will not go away, such as web services, and AJAX. To write a story about the meaning, or lack there of and title it like that is ridiculous.

    You people are so ridiculous. SitePoint is becoming worse that Fox news. You guys create your own news, starting with a catchy headline, and then fill it with your own conjecture. For example:

    “Google Turns its Back on Firefox”

    And then you do exactly what Fox News does, and add propaganda by asking a question, and answering it with more conjecture, and advertisements for your buddies. For example:

    “Reseller Email Marketing: A New Revenue Stream For Designers?” – clear advertisement for Campaign Monitor – not a story

    If you’re bored, and not making enough money, why don’t you just fill the web with more spam, and quit putting out quality articles like you used to. If your traffic is cut in 3rds, then just put out 3 times more content, less the quality.

    • http://www.mockriot.com/ Josh Catone

      @Mikemike: Just for the record, I have absolutely no involvement with the advertising sales here at SitePoint. I am also not paid on commission (I have a salary that doesn’t change whether ads are sold against the content produced or not — that’s the job of someone else in the company).

      Specific to this article, the only company mentioned is O’Reilly. They are SitePoint’s publishing partner for books in the US (another part of SitePoint’s business I have no involvement in), but saying that one of their trademarks has no real meaning is hardly sucking up to them, don’t you think? You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, but I wholeheartedly disagree with the insinuation that any of my content is created for the purposes of shilling. That’s just not true. (I also take exception to the accusation of sensationalism.)

  • http://www.historycommons.org/ Black Max

    Mikemike–I detest and despise Fox News. Therefore I have to question your comparison of Josh Catone, and of SitePoint, to that most objectionable of propaganda outlets.

    It’s not the existence of bubbly graphics, and drop shadows.

    In public perceptions of the meaning of the term, yes, it usually is. For me, the whole “Web 2.0″ look started with Win XP; when it came out, I said, “Ack, it looks as if it had been designed by the Teletubbies.” That whole happy, bubbly, simperingly idiotic look has become “Web 2.0″ in most people’s minds.

    Web 2.0 is the onslaught of new technologies that will not go away, such as web services, and AJAX.

    That’s a much better, and broader, definition of what “Web 2.0″ should be, but it isn’t what most people think when they hear the phrase.

    If you’re bored, and not making enough money, why don’t you just fill the web with more spam, and quit putting out quality articles like you used to. If your traffic is cut in 3rds, then just put out 3 times more content, less the quality.

    If SitePoint actually conducted itself in this manner, I would have nothing to do with it. There are too many linkfarms, “make $$$ by blogging!!!!” infomercial sites, cheesy directed search sites, and so forth out there now. There’s an element of that on SP as it is, and I shy away from that segment of the site’s content, but I understand that it is a part of what people do as Web designers and “citizens of the Internet,” and therefore I do not object to it being one part of SP. One part, not the driving force behind the site.

    Overall, I have to applaud Josh for his restraint in his answer to you. If he’s anything like me, he spent a few valuable minutes spitting curses after reading your missive. Then, unlike me (ask Matt Magain, I pulled a momentary drama queen act on him the other day, to my everlasting discredit), he calmed himself down and wrote a sensible, restrained response to your post. Or maybe he’s always rational and restrained. Kudos to him either way.

    I’m still learning the lesson that “ready, fire, aim” is not the way to deal with people and issues with which you disagree. I hope you’re able to learn that lesson as well.

  • Anonymous
  • http://www.sinthuxdesigns.com sinthux

    Web 2.0 never existed. The web is on a constant evolution, so you really can’t give it a number. Whoever gave ‘Web 2.0′ any sort of definition (other than eccentric graphics) is a dancing chimpanzee.

    @Josh Catone
    You may not gain/lose anything for selling products through articles, but you can bet your bottom dollar that they hired you specifically because you attract attention. They know whatever you do works, so they allow you to do it at your own will. Often, companies will hire bloggers to go anti-product to seem more ‘real’ with the people, anyway.

  • http://james.padolsey.com JimmyP

    Very interesting post Josh, thanks!

    I think the meaning of ‘web 2.0′ changes dependent on where you’re standing. If you’re a hotshot managing director who’s only interest is profit then all you’ll see is a brand new business platform; a new medium through which you can communicate with your potential and current customers.

    On the other hand, if you happen to work with the web, whether it be designing websites, developing online applications, blogging or copyrighting then your perception of this ‘Web 2.0′ term is bound to differ. I’m one such person and for me ‘Web 2.0′ means drop-shadows, gradients, bubbles, Ajax, user-generated content etc. etc. I don’t relate eCommerce to the term at all…

    Josh, mikemike does not even deserve a response from you. I guarantee that whatever the latest article had been about this fella would’ve posted his comment. He’s obviously a bit angry about something and is the type of person that wants to place the blame on others. This happens on all blogs and news sites. For me, that type of comment is pretty much on par with the all-too-common ‘First!!!’ malarkey!

  • http://www.mikehealy.com.au cranial-bore

    Fortunately Web 2.0 is backwards compatible so it never mattered too much.
    Labels can certainly be helpful to identify a ‘thing’ so that it is easier to discuss, but I agree that the Web 2.0 term has become so diluted as to be basically useless.

  • Anonymous

    I could never understand the term web 2.0. I’m a web developer and when i first heard it i thought ah great is that going to mean i’ll have to learn something new. But that has never materialized. I think it is kinda similar to the wml. I believe the main driving force behind the term web 2.0 was ajax. You just have to look at how far this has pushed javascript and client side programming in the last few years.

  • Tom

    To me, Web 2.0 is a term for marketing people who just discovered that people actually talk about things online, including their products.

    Meanwhile, almost all of the major content that was promoted on CompuServe in 1983 (that’s 25 years ago, kids) came from Forum discussions, so those of us who were there get a chuckle about these newfangled revelations others just recently discovered. Because we’ve been doing it for a quarter of a century, and the rules haven’t changed one bit.

  • Anonymous

    Does this mean that designers can stop using reflections and bright colors? YAY!

  • http://www.cerntech.hu/multimedia.html controlFreak

    I know exactly what web 2.0 is:-)))
    Web 2.0 is in the computer industry what ‘postmodern’ used to be in literary theory.

    No one knows what that REALLY is but yet, everyone feels they need to have it attached to their name or brand. It’s a distinction. Those who are ‘web 2.0 compliant’ are somewhat more progressive, more professional, more up-to-date, more future-proof, or cutting-edge (the list of adjectives here alone could provoke an essay about what it means to be cool right now) than those that don’t.

    Believe me, it works.

  • Ashpool

    I think Tim Berners-Lee said it best as how the internet isn’t defined by such terms as Web 2.0, because this is how the web was suppose to be.

    The one negative impact of this whole push for “web 2.0″ is the overabundance of repeated information. You have blogs being dugg that link to blogs which link to a news source. It’s this one big run around.

    You also have companies exploiting the nature of the web and taking advantage of people. Social networking is a really fun thing, fun to be able to keep in contact with people, and to meet new friends. However, companies that target social media for advertising and product promotion don’t really bring anything to the table.

    The internet is this perfect medium for the sharing of information, but now it’s getting bogged down with advertisements, gimmicks, mashups, and websites which don’t add anything but just rehash in a prettier package.

    I’m just cynical, that’s all.

  • stretchy54

    Web.
    Web..
    Web…
    –An unfinished thought.

  • anonym

    sucks.

  • stelt

    As with many terms the meaning indeed has grown bigger and vaguer.
    There just aren’t many people understanding technology.
    Though the number is shrinking, many people still use the browser that’s stuck in Web 1.1: Internet Explorer, it’s the only one not doing SVG for example. And that means missing out as you can see at http://svg.startpagina.nl

  • Biffers

    so, now you know what every systems administrator and good software developer has already known. Web 2.0 is a marketing term. From a technical perspective, web pages (whatever version you would like to refer to) are served over port 80 using TCP/IP. The HTTP protocol didn’t change one bit since 1999: http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2616.html ,

    sort of like discovering santa isn’t real huh?

  • http://www.salaazy.org Frederik

    I do admit to dislike the term. That´s just because it has been used for many years without any real point to it. It´s “blabla” as we say in German.

    Web 2.0 of course does exist, you´re using it right now. Your blog is not a 1995 1.0 thing anymore. And what about the marketing term mentioned in your post? What the heck is this entry about? Between the lines it is pure self-marketing. Very clever way to attract users and make them click elsewhere when they remain unsatisfied by what you write.So, where do the users go? Nobody (I mean you) cares since it has some ads-services lurking behind the link they put a finger on…

  • JCdeR

    Web 2.0 is Having a low fat double machiatto at Starbucks.

    For people like me whom don’t frink this sh*t to start off with, or ever visit Starbucks for that mater there is no web 2.0 …. just the web exists, things come things go, things get blown up, things get defated…. only the base internet remains …. good for internet, bad news for people whom cannot define or decide upon their own trend

  • unknown author

    My understanding has always been that the original web was like a book, or a one way street. Information only flowed one way, from the website to the user. Web 2.0 defines the web as a highly interactive environment; one in which the user can communicate with the website and all of its other users. Posting to blogs like this is one example. There is a clear difference in the “old” web and the current stage. It’s evolution and there is a clear distinction.

  • http://www.wilwaldon.com wilwaldon

    When I’m working with clients it’s still a buzz word. They ask things like “Can you do Web 2.0 for me?” I smile and say Yes I Can.

  • Scruzion

    As someone pointed out on DIGG…

    Web 2.0: You create content…we profit!

  • Tim Jones

    I actually found a blog entry recently that breaks it done it terms that fit well, and make the devs and marketers happy. Oh and both can understand it. Check it out at: http://lunchpail.knotice.com/2008/12/15/buzz-words-demystified-episode-1/

  • John the Man

    The only people I know or have been around professionally who actually use the term ‘web two point oh’ are people who don’t know squat about the internet (or even usually computers in general). They have heard the term and think, yeah, that’s it!, without evening knowing what it means. What it means is actually nothing.

    They are usually the same people who subscribe (still) to things like ‘continuous improvement’ and the like. THOSE people.

  • Paul Huntsberger

    Web 2.0 is a layman’s consumer term – not necessarily a developer’s term. When pointing out newer technology or “marketing image” our firm uses Web 2.0 as a simple way of defining to our audience (in this case the client) what is “new” on the web.

    Web 1.0 to me, refers to pre 2001/2002 industry trends, 2.0 refers to post 2002 trends, that was the first I saw anyone using what is considered web 2.0 by the layman now. Web 2.0 is not even a new concept – in web time.

    Just like the word “blogging” – which means nothing relevant to me – it’s a “post”, just like the one I am making now. We just name these concepts, so people have a reference to compare things to. I mean does ‘Flikr’ mean anything?! Great Post!

  • randywehrs

    Never made any sense to me.

    If you’re giving the web versions, we would be at 5.0 at least by now. It started as just text. then there were graphics.. the list goes on.

    the progression was a lot more stepped than 1.0 and 2.0. By the time the phrase loses its cool factor (if it hasn’t already), people won’t want to hear of web anything.0. its strictly a buzzword and doesn’t reflect any progression of the internet. There will be no 2.1 or 3.0.

  • essexboyracer

    My opinion: web 2.0 has always been a marketing term ever since the dotcom bubble burst, when was it? 1997/98?. Version 1 didn’t work correctly, so here is version 2 for you to put your money in

  • Lee Starusta

    The term has brought attention to internet business and that is a good thing.
    At least clients are asking about it and have an interest in our business if you are a designer than you get more work and as a user millions of people participate in facebook, youtube, twitter on a daily basis.
    So why worry about the meaning. Marketing is part of any business and if a catch phrase or term helps in anyway than so be it.

  • http://www.besalighting.com The Schaef

    Web 2.0 is any site with CSS rounded corners. :p

  • http://www.wilwaldon.com wilwaldon

    Rounded corners and “badges”! God I hate those things.

  • waji

    for me web doesn’t have any versions; web will stay ‘web’ forever, because web doesn’t refer to one thing.

    Nice Job Mr. Josh! :)

  • Tai Kahn

    Honestly think about old school web sites, nothing dynamic, flat html, centered pages, everything in times, counters, built for netscape at the bottom of the page, etc. Thats Web 1.0.

    Web 2.0 is simply the clean modern slick web driven dynamic application based internet we have today.

    Pretty *ucking simple IMHO. I guess dissing on Web 2.0 creates traffic.

  • Jin

    I’m just glad the word “Cyberspace” isn’t being used as much anymore…

  • mikemike

    @Josh Catone @Josh Catone

    I apologize. I’ve seen a few articles that have irritated me lately in SitePoint. I should have posted a comment like that on a previous article. Josh’s articles are always of high quality. I simply read the title, and thought ‘great, another sexy title followed by fluff’, so I skimmed the article for 5 seconds and made my mind up. Ignorant of me to do so. However, aside from you article, I do feel that SitePoint has been whoring itself out lately more than ever, as well as using TV media tactics to gain readership.

  • mrhoo

    Web 2 is the web of people who have never lived in a world without the Internet.

  • Anonymous

    Somehow, the people I’ve talked to seem to think that web 2.0 is about the look – mostly reflections on logos and clean, bold designs.

    Of course, it has more to do with the way that the web is used – social networks, forums, blogs, and other community-centered activities.

    Abobe’s, Microsoft’s and Google’s (to name a few) efforts toward building web applications will take the web to another level – redefining it again, in fact.

  • Frederick

    Actually, Tim O’Reilly published a lengthy and detailed definition (5 pages) of Web 2.0. In it he describes very specifically what “Web 2.0″ is supposed to mean.

    What Is Web 2.0: http://oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html?page=1

    Having said that, I totally agree that the term has lost it’s original intended meaning.

  • http://europeshops.net loko

    Web 2.0…3.0 tomorrow will be 4.0. Who cares this numbers?
    User like or don’t like site, not important or this is a Web 2.0 or Web 8.0.

  • Sdarland Santa Fe

    This is what I’m talkin’ about… I carried a Compaq box the size of a singer sewing machine up and down Manhattan daily trying to sell connectivity in the early eighties. Julian Snider (SP) who was publishing a newsletter called “Moneyline.” That was in the same window CNN contacted us to assist in graphic systems for the CNN news bureau in Manhattan. Snyder sold “Moneyline’ to CNN and we advised CNN to wait 6 months for the “new technologies” and skip the NAPLPS systems we were creating for Canadian MTV. When we heard about 2.0 we were at Stanford listening to BJ talk about it… you know, Persuasive Technologies. Well, Josh, we hope you can milk an additional $60K –– $90K out of the system describing something we recognized in the early eighties with the birth of HYPERTEXT! BTW What’s Next H+Josh????

  • CJ

    Lol!

    web 2.0 as web 3.0 has been around in computer science for quite a while now – eventually the marketing peeps found out about it and made it all commercial and markety and over-hyped. It was just a way of naming it, like “IE 7″ for example.

    The O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004 was when the term was properly discussed. The term was however around since early 2000.

    The definition is fluid because the web is fluid, it changes and develops and this is a good thing. The actual developments are important not the name.

    Web 2.0 is hardly an issue right now when web 3.0 is being rolled out :)

    Interestingly nobody seems to mention internet 2.

  • Anonymous

    Marketing has been turning catchphrases into kitch for decades – doesn’t mean we give up on the phrases they’re abusing!

    I think the one thing you’ve forgotten to take into account is that not everybody is at the cutting edge of the web, whether you call it 2.0, 3.0 or 5.16b. For newbies who are just evolving out of basic browse & email, they’ll still see a jump when they graduate to the interactivity that characterises what’s called ‘Web 2.0′, and they’ll still call it that. Otherwise how would they describe it when they rave about their discoveries to their friends?

    Today wasn’t the day Web 2.0 died. It was the day your attachment to it did.

  • Wideawake

    The DEATH of the world wide web is on it’s way.
    They will be only allowing commercial sites on internet 2. No more freedom of speech when internet 2 takes hold. It will all be government censored. Better stop it now!

  • Tim Gray

    I have to disagree. For me saying that Web 1.0 or Web 2.0 or even Web 3.0 has no meaning is like saying that the demographic categories of Baby Boomer, X gen and Y gen with their lack of concensus as to when the generations started, or even what their names are, has no value. There is something substantially different between these generations (in addition to size) just as there is something substantially different about what the web was 10 years ago and what the web represents today. Just because that “something” is hard to define doesn’t mean that the categorization has no value.

  • http://www.wilwaldon.com wilwaldon

    I have to agree that if you number something it’s an easier sell. I tell my clients that ajax is a Web 2.0 technology and they are all crazy for it. If I simply said it’s javascript they’d be like “uhhhh what does that mean”.

    It’s for marketing.

  • kdbaumann

    Never agreed with the term Web 2.0 in the first place. It was really a marketing effort to differentiate from Web 1.0 – The Bubble. Now Web 2.0 is about ir is experiencing it’s own bubble. Web 2.0 is really just a take on things that networking folks have been using and talking about for years. It’s nothing new. I remember looking at “2.0” websites and said to myself, uhhh ok what’s so revolutionary about that? It’s evolutionary, and much like google got a jump on yahoo when folks would have never have bet on Yey Another Search Engine, Facebook arrived, so did a bunch of others, all doing much what was being done before, but better and with more depth, but really nothing “new”. So I am betting that there is going to be the term “Web 3.0″ after this bubble bursts, crashes and recovers. Which is pretty much how Web 2.0 came about. I mean who wants to invest in “Web” companies when those were all “DotBombs”. :-) So you see, Web 2.0 was invented as a way for both investors to NOT look stupid putting money into the Web again, and for Web dudes/dudettes to look cool while working in the web. The web was constantly evolving from the day of it’s inception, in fact the Internet has been evolving since it’s day of inception, so where is Internet 2.0? There won’t be one.

    That’s my two cents, from having been here since before there was “The Web” and still here after the rise and fall of “Web 1.0″, and will be here still after the rise and fall of “Web 2.0″. The strong get stronger and the weak go away. Its evolution at work…

    See ya on the other side.

    “Wake up and Smell the Coffee” http://www.myhell.org

  • dc

    You guys are cold. If something dies, HOLD A FUNERAL. Give it a proper burial like when Rick Rubin buried the word “Def.” Ulegize.

    The Internet has made you all callous. :)

  • netrox

    Web 2.0, to me, means a website that uses CSS, AJAX, and xhtml. It has improved support for various image formats, notably PNG with alpha transparency. It is also more “socially adaptive.”

    Web 1.0 required the use of HTML to design, the use of tables to create layouts, and there was no AJAX.

    But I definitely understand your view but you gotta admit that you get the “idea” of what Web 2.0 is about even though it’s a socially constructed concept with no clear cut definitions.

  • modxhost

    Web 2.0 is to the internet, as the 3rd industrial revolution is to the environment.Web 2.0, is a contemporary reference to modern internet technologies and trendy website aesthetics.And just like the term ‘midi’ in the 80’s, its being misappropriated by those who have less of a clue about its meaning than most LMHO.

  • http://www.brothercake.com/ brothercake

    The diversity of comment here proves the point – that no two people have the same idea what web 2.0 means; it means something different to everyone.

    In objective terms then, it means nothing. But in subjective terms, it can mean anything. Sounds like marketing all over :)

  • James Clark

    I don’t see why the phrase “Web 2.0″ needs to be used. It’s meaning has become so vague to the point that everyone seems to define it in a different way. I don’t see why the Web needs to be labelled in such a way. Sure it’s changing all the time but we all know this anyway. Creating such phrases is more of a marketing gimmick than anything else(in my opinion).

    Although I should point out that I don’t think that the phrase was ever intended to be particulary specific or follow exact guidelines.

  • Tom N.

    I agree with netrox and Tai Kahn. Although I do think that the term itself is quite annoying and in the general view of the public, it holds many different definitions. On the upside of things, I think Josh was right, and that just the existence of this weird-not-so-clearly-defined term has brought about some good discussion between web developers.

    If I’m asked what ‘Web 2.0′ means, I just try to keep it simple and say that to me it means keeping up with today’s standards and utilizing the latest technologies (such as AJAX or other dynamic content) when they are necessary.

  • Jalek

    Web 2.0 began with the blink tag, don’t let anyone tell you different.

    Actually, I’ve always seen it as some sort of movement towards interactive sites with forums and user-created enhancing content instead of the read-only digital brochures that websites used to be.

    Other than that, it’s just a marketing term, therefore I hold it in the lowest of regard.

  • Silver Firefly

    I think of Web 2.0 as a stage in the evolution of the WWW.

  • guru

    I do admit with the author that there is nothing as WEB 2.0. I am of the same opinion as many others, it never existed to die. It is a marketing gimmick. We must try and avoid coining to many jargons so that people may not frighten and run away from our technologies.

  • MereMortal

    Web 2.0 is alive and kicking!Web 2.0 is an endearing term to describe contemporary internet technologies + trendy website aesthetics.Web 2.0 is the subtle reflection in that button, the ajax in that app, the swirl in that logo, the whitespace in that webpage.Web 2.0, would we return to the 90’s, Web 1.0, did it even have a phrase? No, so perhaps the term is dead to some, but what it represents, has yet to be succeeded.Web 2.0, when it started, and when it ends, is not the say of mortals.Web 2.0 happened, it proliferates… live with it.

  • webZplus

    Having been involved in Marketing for 20 years Web 2.0 is just something else that sales people can ‘sell’ just like Coke Zero is the new diet Coke… and the 15 types of milk in your supermarket are all just variations of the basic old milk… if the Marketers had got hold of the web we would have 15 versions of that too… or maybe we have, the average Joe still buys Coke, full cream milk and browses the internet with Internet Explorer!

  • Silver Firefly

    That’s a good point webZplus.

  • Post Script

    Windows 3.5 : Windows 98 :: Web 1.0 : Windows 08

  • http://www.vkw91.co.uk vkw91

    When I hear the phase “web 2.0″ it sends shivers down my spine – it feels so false these days.

  • Bob Marley

    I cringe when I hear the phrase “60’s music”, but “Web 2.0″, while yet to be pinned to a musical genre, is a reference term to describe a host of contemporary web technologies and styles.. and I would hesitate to inform clients that a “Web 2.0″ look for their website is spin-tingling or false LMHO… each to their own tho, ay =)

  • http://www.aradiom.com Michael Larsson

    web 2.0 cannot die…….
    it had to exist for it to die…
    its just an extension of web 1.0 (whatever that is) and how we interact with it….
    it means different things to different people and really has nothing to do with technology but more to do with user generated content and individual interaction…