When Tim O’Reilly first defined Web 2.0 it helped define an emerging industry surrounding new web technologies following the bust of the internet bubble. Yesterday afternoon I read a post about Tim O’Reilly course correcting the definition. The definition was ultimately being expanded to include Google as part of Web 2.0. I found it somewhat entertaining as ultimately Web 2.0 is really nothing more then the internet.
While we can place terms for the evolution of how human’s leverage the power of the technologies provided by the web, ultimately the web continues to evolve and no matter what application are built to harness the power of it, it is still simply the internet. Humans simply weren’t used to what is ultimately a “many to many” communication platform instead of one to one as most communication was prior to the web.
To be honest, I even have used the term “social web” as though there is a subset of the web focused on communication and technologies which help improve our ability to socialize (or “communicate”). The entire web is about communication though and ultimately we are simply integrating the tools that leverage the power of the web to more effectively communicate.
As such any terms which attempt to define anything outside of digital transactions (including “Web 2.0”, the “social web”, etc) is simply placing a term for what is ultimately humans striving to leverage the web to communicate more efficiently. I guess defining terms is a way for us to create a sense of place and time and make us feel like we are progressing.
Let’s stop making “Web 2.0” products though. What we really need to build is great products and tools that help us communicate more effectively. That’s it.