That’s where we differ. A concept does not have to exist for a term to be coined. The illusion of a concept may exist and I do not blame clients for using that term. However, I cannot count the times I’ve heard clients say they wanted a Web 2.0 design and, I can tell you that features, functionality, and design aesthetics could not have been more diverse. There are no components that make a site Web 2.0. If anything that is considered modern can be attributed to being Web 2.0, then that’s evidence to me that there is no underlying concept behind it. There are no specific characteristics that are exclusive, or even partially inherent to Web 2.0. Yes, I do understand that you disagree, but, like I said, the things you attest to being Web 2.0, like usability and accessibility, have nothing to do with Web 2.0 at all, but rather with good web design as a whole.
As I think of it, it’s been quite a few years since I’ve last heard web designers use that term anymore.
I don’t mind when clients say they want a Web 2.0 design, because, as you said, they exclusively mean that they want a trendy design, and the trend changes every other week. Were there a concept, it’d have a face, an idea, a line of thought, some kind of methodology, something that is particular, but it doesn’t …
And the software example isn’t flawed, it’s actually pretty accurate for what the “concept” of the term Web 2.0 signifies. An up-to-date version (or more accurately, thought process) of web development.
It is flawed to me because I negate the existence of a concrete concept. An application has a tangible concept (well, it should have), and version updates denote an upgrade, improvement, or fixing of one and the same application. I don’t see how that can be translated to Web 2.0, but my imagination might be limited here.
As I previously stated, there have been countless articles and books written about it. One of them is a great book titled, Professional Web 2.0 Programming by Wrox Press and it pretty much explains what I talked about earlier. The concept of Web 2.0 being about a more secure, stable web design with a higher degree of user interactivity and high visual appeal, again, I’m just summarizing in a nutshell.
I realize that these exist. I do not negate the fact that the term exists, obviously, and that a market has been established for it, but to me that’s nothing but a marketing scheme, because it does not introduce a new concept, nor does it introduce anything that didn’t exist before. Instead, it lumps a few components into one basket and slaps the label “Web 2.0” onto it, whereby those components comprise something else every time, depending on the agenda.
Sorry, but yes they do. They are a major component of what the concept truly is. And I ask you this, how can you say that they don’t go hand-in-hand when you’re stating that it doesn’t exist in the first place? That’s like saying eggs don’t exist yet the yolks and whites have nothing to do with the formation of a complete egg :).
No, if took your metaphor and based that on what I said, then it would have to be: “Eggs don’t exist, therefore yolks and whites don’t exist”. But that’s not what I said or implied. Accessibility is a concept. Usability is a concept. These two concepts have existed for ages and have nothing to do with Web 2.0. That’s all I meant to say.
And indeed If you look at sites that label themselves Web 2.0, you’ll find that these sites are the worst in terms of accessibility, usually don’t work without JS enabled, and are highly resource-intense, so quite the opposite. I’ve never seen a good designer/agency website use that term anywhere in their sales pitch, not even the “big” designers.
I think the original intent of the term wasn’t a marketing term, but I do agree with you that it has become nothing more than that now. Everybody flocked to it because it was the “trendy and cool” thing to do without stopping to grasp what it was all really about. Too be honest, I hate the term Web 2.0 because it simply is nothing more than a catch phrase.
Yes, I dislike it as well and wished it were never coined to begin with because it’s entirely useless, the components arbitrary, and nothing but a synonym for trendy design that will mean something today and something entirely different tomorrow.