Web 2.0 is Dead; Long Live the Web!

While presenting in my world-wide tour last month, I entered into a discussion with some very savvy people with strong opinions of “Web 2.0”. To further the discussion (and raise the level of emotion in the room), I proclaimed Web 2.0 to be “dead”, as it’s now achieved the level of hype “enjoyed” by SOA as little as 18 months ago. I made this point with the following anecdote:

You remember SOA? I sure do. I still believe in the underlying principles and methodologies that comprise and define a successful services orientation in an extended enterprise. Read that line carefully. SOA is not a noun (although you could refer to your enterprise as a services-oriented architecture-oriented enterprise). Services Orientation is a set of processes and methodologies that describe and manage the transfer and sharing of data between disparate, loosely-coupled entities. I referred to this at length in “Services Orientation – The Architecture Formerly Known As SOA – Introduction”.

So it is with Web 2.0. The mass media is now coming to realize that the phrase “Web 2.0” is a catch-all term, loosely used to describe the proliferation of social networking, user-shared content, aggregation and such. But behind it all is the need for improvement in how the end user accesses their data; the data that matters the most to them.

We snack on our information every day. This “Information Snacking” is part of our routine:

  • We rise, shave and shower.
  • We check email.
  • We check the web for traffic, bus schedules, kid’s school lunch menus.
  • We check our stock quotes.
  • .. and so on.

As users, we want the data we care about when we want it, regardless of where we are. We want it when we want it, and will accept “lesser” experiences (say, a WAP-enabled cell phone) when we’re in a position where that’s the only (or most convenient) way to snack on our data.

Web 2.0 is dead? I’m kidding myself. Media., marketers, technical sales people and developers will use the term because it’s the easiest way to describe the over-arching idea of the web’s evolution.

The term will be around for a long time. What it actually “means” will mutate at the whim of the market and critical mass of the user community. Those who will benefit need to identify how their applications might meet the needs of these whims.

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About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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