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Friday, December 28, 2007

Tell Me What Web 2 Means or I Will Kill You 

I used to be the kind of a guy that would go around just mocking whatever other people thought was important. God, I hated that about me. I couldn't help it.

But I really take this Web 2 business seriously. This time, I can see just how important it is to so many people, literally everyone on the planet. So...

The bursting of the dot-com bubble in the fall of 2001 marked a turning point for the web. Many people concluded that the web was overhyped, when in fact bubbles and consequent shakeouts appear to be a common feature of all technological revolutions. Shakeouts typically mark the point at which an ascendant technology is ready to take its place at center stage. The pretenders are given the bum's rush, the real success stories show their strength, and there begins to be an understanding of what separates one from the other.

That's from The O'Reilly, except I don't understand why it's “2.0”. (The link itself is “./what-is-web-20”.) I know people started doing that years ago: they would be assembling some important document that didn't really have any point, and they would need to keep adding sub-sections just to modify whatever it was they thought they were saying and to forestall any criticism. It's easier to do that if you use decimals, and it also looks purposeful. The reason Dewey used decimals was to ensure there would be infinite room, in the future, for more variously specific aspects of any topic assigned to the given number, which he did not presume to foresee. But as far as I know, there hasn't been Web 1.87 or anything. And there is not going to be a Web2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and nobody expects that there will be.

So, I am trying to share the piety, but the enthusiasts aren't helping. They're taking centre stage with bubbles in the throne room or something.



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Watching TV is a good way to tear yourself away from the computer.