More on Web 2.0 Semantics


The other day I wrote a post on Web 2.0 as a state of mind, with it really being an attitude of openness that defines our era. Shelley Powers writes about this again in regards to Doc’s thoughts on Business Morality. Since most blogs don’t post trackbacks from Blogger (another reason to change platforms), I am cross posting my comment here.

While I still detest the phrase Web 2.0 myself, I feel forced to use it in order to converse with others about the nature of what is happening now and what is different about the emergent practices we are seeing. Shelly is right that there is no version of the web per se, and while the technology has evolved somewhat, I still think it has its place. The phrase Web 2.0 still represents the attitude of this new era as good as anything else I have heard thus far including what I have called it – The Open Web.

The difference that is really touched upon in Doc’s post (though with terms I don’t really like) is the nature of Open systems versus closed systems and human behaviour within those systems. Systems now really do put people at the core and these new systems are contextually aware of the individual’s relationships with other people.

Yes it is still about communications as was the original promise of the Web being bantered about in 1994 after Mosaic’s release. But today more then ever, it is about the ease with which we collaborate with one another within organizations and uniquely, in the commons. It is the spirit of openness that manifests itself as participation in services that allow us to more easily gaze into the collective consciousness that every so often gives rise to an insight from the collective wisdom.

For some the characteristics of the technology matter most, just as the numbers matter more to the accountants than the narrative does. For others like me, it is about the differences in human behaviour. The idea behind Web 2.0 is complex and changing and many people are still working to describe it from their own perspective. In the end though, I think Doc was right when he said “I think it’s what we’ll call the current bubble and the next crash”.

Above all else, and regardless of the semantics, it is what we call the time we are living in today, no matter how much we like or dislike the term.

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