13
February
2006

Why Web 2.0 is healthy 21:41 on Monday

Web 2.0, or Bubble 2.0 for the skeptics, was arguably The Word on the internet in 2005. Although the debate has somewhat died down, all the things Web 2.0 stands for are definitely not loosing momentum.

Web 2.0 is different things to different people, from AJAX to APIs, from big fonts to tagging, from peer production to long tail. Basically, Web 2.0 is jargon, and quite often jargon can be irritating — especially when surrounded by the magnitude of hype Web 2.0 has gathered. But like it or not, there are uses for jargon that benefit everybody.

First of all, jargon is a powerful tool for the people who actually need to sell web stuff to clients. When something like Web 2.0 gets big, the clients are happy to know their vendor sells “that Web 2.0 thing”, which allows more leverage for the vendor to sell Good Things to the client. Yes, jargon is a 2.0 -edged blade, and can (has, and will) be used to sell crap to the client as well. It’s up to the vendor to be reasonable with the Knife 2.0.

Those Good Things come from the conceptual and technical designers who are responsible for creating the product. For them Web 2.0 is a box of tricks that can be selectively applied to (almost) any web project and can revitalize the ideas and thinking behind the original concept. Or to put it in other words, you could think of Web 2.0 as a set of patterns. Some Web 2.0 tricks could be unnecessary, but none of them are harmful (I could be wrong here, time will tell).

Most importantly, in Web 2.0 the user is considered an important part of the product, and it shows in the most successful Web 2.0 services which have been built with great user focus.

Update: Hugh McLeod hints at the opportunities non-tech people can get from the Web 2.0 mind set, and links to more, almost too much more Web 2.0 articles and explanations collected by Joshua Porter.

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