Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Maria C. Horton

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: Article

You Know You're Web 2.0 When...

"Long Live Web 2.0, Whatever the Name"

Yes, the title of this piece is sure to be a bit provocative as the term Web 2.0 bottoms out with a vengeance in the infamous trough of disillusionment.  Those in the know realize it's no longer cool to say Web 2.0 in many technology circles.  Even the IT columnist blowhard John C. Dvorak lined up this week to take the obligatory swipe at Web 2.0, possibly to coincide with O'Reilly's latest talk about it at the sold-out Emerging Technology conference this week (best quote: Web 2.0 represents "people inside the machine".)   And Gibu Thomas just made a great set of observations about what people in general think about Web 2.0 taken from a group podcast made at the recent Naked Conversations launch partyUpshot: Most people actually equate Web 2.0 with an Ajax browsing experience.

Strikingly, all this hand-waving and gnashing of teeth is over a whole lot of nothing.  I personally, though well known as a proponent of Web 2.0, am
completely ambivalent about the term itself.  Like anything, it's what's actually happening that really matters and it just turns out that the term Web 2.0 is the best and most articulate vision of what we're seeing unfolding on the Web today.  And though some folks see many of the smaller startups as doomed to failure in a crowded market, it's much more about the bigger story of the billion people on the Web today and what they're doing.  Because they aren't going away.

I look around at terrifically exciting technologies like
Ruby on Rails (lightweight programming models), the community created tag clouds that are available on more and more sites (harnessing collective intelligence and folksonomies), pervasive syndication and Web servicing of content via RSS (small pieces, loosely joined and Web as Platform), and yes, even rich, immersive, roaming software (Ajax and RIAs).  These are all indicators of a larger trend:  The emergence of a social software super platform that rapidly evolves as reflection of its combined users and their information.

Web 2.0 as the Social Software Super Platform

Now, John Dvorak was right in one sense in his article.  That most people don't care about Web 2.0 and they never will, they just want to get things done. And a big piece of Web 2.0 is using the Web to do things yourself.  In this respect, I certainly agree.  The part where he's wrong is that the supply side of the equation has to know what the pieces of Web 2.0 are in order to create great online social software.  Web 2.0 really is design patterns and business models for the next generation of the Web.  Saying that Web 2.0 is purely about self-service is laughably naive, incomplete, and wrong-headed.  However, I do agree with John that a lot of this is "old wine in new bottles."  I've written extensively about this, probably the best in The Timeless Way of Building Software; what's old is new again though with a different twist and a whole lot more scale.

Anyway, you're probably here to see how you know that you're Web 2.0.  Here are some ways.  And of course, you're always more than welcome to add all the ones I missed at the bottom.

You Know You're Web 2.0 When...

  • You can easily comment on, or preferably, actually change the content that you find on a Web site.
  • You can label your information with tags and use them to find that information again.
  • Your Web page doesn't reload even once as you get a whole lotta work done.
  • You are actively aware of other users' recent activity on a site.
  • It's possible for you to easily share with others the information you're contributing on the Web site.
  • You can syndicate your information on a Web site elsewhere on the Internet through a feed like RSS or Atom.
  • You can pick and choose the pieces of a Web site that you like and then add that functionality to your own site.

  • There are easy ways to find out what content is the most popular or interesting at the moment.
  • You heard about a new Web site because a friend enthusiastically recommended it to you out of the blue.
  • There happens to be a mind boggling amount information and a lot of people on a site, yet it seems easy to find what you want and communicate with others.
  • Everything you ever added to a given Web site can be removed easily at your whim.
  • The Web site actively encourages you to share and reuse its information and its services with others.  And it even provides a license to do so.

And of course there's a lot more and I can easily see how it might seem like people are throwing in the kitchen sink when they use the Web 2.0 umbrella term.  But the ideas really are linked together (again see the aforementioned Timeless Way of Building Software) and reinforce each other, often critically.  The good news is still that people don't have to understand much of this to use it, but we do, and must, in order to build it.  Start studying...

So, long live Web 2.0, whatever the name.  Or, can we just build some great software with these ideas without arguing about the term?

posted Wednesday, 8 March 2006

More Stories By RIA News Desk

Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to [email protected] to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

Comments (2)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Moroccanoil®, the global leader in oil-infused beauty, is thrilled to announce the NEW Moroccanoil Color Depositing Masks, a collection of dual-benefit hair masks that deposit pure pigments while providing the treatment benefits of a deep conditioning mask. The collection consists of seven curated shades for commitment-free, beautifully-colored hair that looks and feels healthy.
The textured-hair category is inarguably the hottest in the haircare space today. This has been driven by the proliferation of founder brands started by curly and coily consumers and savvy consumers who increasingly want products specifically for their texture type. This trend is underscored by the latest insights from NaturallyCurly's 2018 TextureTrends report, released today. According to the 2018 TextureTrends Report, more than 80 percent of women with curly and coily hair say they purcha...
The textured-hair category is inarguably the hottest in the haircare space today. This has been driven by the proliferation of founder brands started by curly and coily consumers and savvy consumers who increasingly want products specifically for their texture type. This trend is underscored by the latest insights from NaturallyCurly's 2018 TextureTrends report, released today. According to the 2018 TextureTrends Report, more than 80 percent of women with curly and coily hair say they purcha...
We all love the many benefits of natural plant oils, used as a deap treatment before shampooing, at home or at the beach, but is there an all-in-one solution for everyday intensive nutrition and modern styling?I am passionate about the benefits of natural extracts with tried-and-tested results, which I have used to develop my own brand (lemon for its acid ph, wheat germ for its fortifying action…). I wanted a product which combined caring and styling effects, and which could be used after shampo...
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.