It's becoming popular to complain about Web 2.0 even while using it. David Berkowitz says Web 2.0 "reeks of dot-com geek elitism," but it has the frustrating property of being useful—for framing his article, for example. He's not alone in disliking the term, but I haven't seen a good alternative, and we do need a shorthand to refer to the trends. At this point, Web 2.0 has momentum, and it will take a convincing argument to replace it.
Jargon is specialized language that people use to communicate efficiently within specialties. If I pitched an article on, let's say, HR 2.0, the people who most dislike the whole "Web 2.0" family of terms would have a good idea of what I meant. The alternative is to spend time and effort reciting the philosophy and technologies that make up the universe of Web 2.oh, look, a post on Recruitment 2.0. And here I was, trying to be hypothetical. Here are a few more 2.0 references:
- PR 2.0
- News 2.0
- Office 2.0
- Small Business 2.0
- TV 2.0
- Dead 2.0 and Bubble 2.0—don't ignore the contrarians!
- News 2.0
Does this matter to your business? Whether you like the terminology or not, things are changing on the Internet, which is increasingly embedded in people's lives. It's not hard to see how changes in the online environment will affect your business sooner or later (and my money's on sooner).
For those who need an introduction to Web 2.0, here are a few links to get you started:
- Tim O'Reilly's definition
- the conference
- the trademark controversy
- Troy Angrignon's ChangeThis manifesto combines a solid background on Web 2.0 with applications for business.
We seem to have a number of discussions about terminology going on—about Web 2.0, RSS versus feeds, social media versus CGM, Google as a verb—the debates only prove that people are interested in these topics, and that the whole Internet environment isn't mature yet. Vigorous discussion of terminology is just part of the growth process.
I won't try to defend Web 3.0, though.
Tags: jargon web2.0