What happens when 999,999 words isn’t enough? The English language answered that when it added the Web 2.0 buzzword to its arsenal.

And what exactly does it mean? Asking Google to define it, a handful of ideas comes up, including social communties, RSS, interactive webpages, web applications, collaboration, a style of design, hosted services, and even a World War II generation. The best definition I’ve seen is from O’Reilly Media (who coined the term in 2005), but that somehow hasn’t caught on to something used across the board. It’s a buzzword that means something different to different sets of people: marketers, programmers, designers, etc.

Not only is it a buzzword, it’s too late. Web 2.0 has been hovering around since I was in college (which, yes, is turning into a long time ago) and is already being supplanted by the equally confusing Web 3.0. Google’s Eric Schmidt discussed the difference between the two back in 2007.

Although I’m glad to see American culture taking online advancements seriously, this seems more like a fireworks show than anything truly substantial. At it’s worst, it just makes us looks like we’re catching up to the times rather than leading the revolution.


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