Click here to close now.


Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Flint Brenton, Brian Daleiden, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: Article

i-Technology Blog: Welcome to the New "Golden World" of Web 2.0 and Beyond

"Come on in, the Web 2.0 water's fine."

We tend to forget that 'There's nothing new, except that there's nothing new.' Most especially we tend to forget that human beings have been processing new experiences in terms of old ones for millennia. Permit me to give you an example...

Many commentators, analysts, executives, and software developers so far this year - as I write we are past midsummer's day, so the period I am thinking of is now just over half a year long - have been processing the arrival of what has been dubbed "Web 2.0" with sage prudence born of having seen Web 2.0's bubble-like characteristics once before, with Web 1.0...and having gotten burned. That the VC community is showing no such prudence, to these people, is evidence enough of recidivism. Old ways die hard, especially old ways that at one point enriched an entire galaxy of talented individuals, go-for-it angels, risk-savvy institutions, and even massive hedge funds beyond their wildest dreams.

Clearly, then, it has to be Deja Vu All Over Again? And indeed, this time round, the bubble looked like it was swelling up so fast that people immediately have begun standing in line to burst it pre-emptively and save it from ending in tears a second time. Already by January 16, for example, the highly articulate and thoughtful Web designer-cum-thought leader Jeffrey Zeldman had already written and article bemoaning the motivation behind the coiners of "Web 2.0" as disingenuous at best and downright scurrilous at worst. His solution? Boycott the term entirely and leapfrog straight over the O'Reilly lobby's neologism...into "Web 3.0."

But here's the thing. What I shall term the "Web 2.0 Terminology Debate" is - just as Zeldman suggests - a huge diversion. (Whether it is a delberate misdirection I doubt; so I would beg to differ with him on that particular point.) But it is not a diversion from the metriciousness of the new Web: on the contrary, it is a diversion from its awesome and disruptive power, and from its quite bewildering, almost terminal velocity.

Forgive the emphasis. I dont mean to insult your intelligence, and mean nothing by it save a desire to let there be not one susurrus of a soubt as to what I am saying here. I am contending nothing less than that today, if you open your mind to it anyway, is the beginning of the rest of your life. Not just your Web life, but your life per se. For what Tim O'Reilly and the conference die-hards that cluster around him are in danger of blinding everyone to is that the primary characteristic of Web 2.0 is not that it is undergirded by RSS or OPML or AJAX but that it is a precursor of "Life 2.0" - and that is a much. much bigger deal.

You may wish to apply a discount factor to what you read in this blog, knowing that Internet technologies are where i have parked my head, my heart, and my entire livelihood and therefore I may be counted upon to favor a techno-oriented view of life. Or you may wish to apply a discount factor because, never mind i-Technology commentators like Jeremy Geelan and never mind i-Technologists like Dave Winer, Tim Bray, Adam Bosworth et al, all would-be discoverers are prone to over-praise what is new. (It is said that the first men to visit America believed that they had accidentally found Paradise, a second Garden of Eden. In the narrative of his third voyage, for example, Christopher Columbus wrote: 'For I believe that the earthly Paradise lies here,' and fifty years later the French essayist Michel de Montaigne was even more effusive: "In my opinion what we actually see in these nations "surpasses all the pictures which the poets have drawn of the Golden Age...")

But discount or no discount, you will not prevent my writing and speaking...and above all doing...on the premiss that 2006 has indeed seen the arrival of a new "Golden World," the world of Flickr and Basecamp, of Pandora and - and that is before you even start to look at the "still, small voice" of socially innovative start-ups that are mushrooming all over the Web and won't hit the radar screens of most of us till 2007...unless of course Google gets there first and releases them tomorrow, which no one should ever rule out! ;-)

Those involved in such vanguard activities are, by definition, futurists. They are activists whose mind, body, and soul sometimes is committed to what I call "Futures Doing." It is a concept I first pioneered 16 years ago, since it occured to me that one sure way to bring about a better 21st century was to use the final decade of the 20th century to help make sure that  it was better by doing something towards it, right then and there. ("Lead-in time" being a powerful concept that any journalist knows in his bone marrow is essential.)

If "Futures Doing" seems too abstruse too you, too Geelanesque, then think instead of a social activist like Ghandi, whose quiet philosophy undergirded social change on a massive scale, and who taught people to be the change they seek, a principle that to this day flourishes in grassroots online/offline communities such as the one presently under the stewardship of Sir John Whitmore, Christopher Cooke, Nick-Hart Williams, and others.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world," Ghandi wrote. But, just in case that doesn't resonate with you sufficiently, or sounds too existential, let me put it another way: the best way to bring about a better future is to help invent it. He who rejects change, they say, is the architect of decay - since the only human institution that rejects progress is the cemetery. Seek instead to be the architect of change, and when better than now to architect a better world, intermediated by a better Web?

That, in my view, is the power of this "AJAX Moment," this "Web 2.0" window of opportunity. For you, for me, for him over there, for us all. A billion people online may be five billion too few, or it may be a billion too many, but it is what we have to work with at present. Those who prefer Futures Doing to Futures Talking (or even Futures Writing) need to look no further than to their nearest Web browser, since as the Web itself becomes an application platform, the hundreds, thousands, and possibly millions of point of light that are individually shining somewhere "out there" will gradually find their place-to-stand. 

This won't necessarily happen slowly, but most likely it will happen gradually as we are talking here of a more Universal Web that embraces far more tiers of human activity than it does as yet, and adoption rates of transformational technologies are always considerably slower than those that offer incremental improvements.

So, architects everywhere (and we are all architects of the future now), let's be having you. None of us is as smart as all of us, and co-creativity/co-intelligence/co-discovery is the name of the new game. Come on in, the Web 2.0 water's fine.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (1) View Comments

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.

Most Recent Comments
JasonMez 07/07/06 08:42:11 AM EDT

I'm working on a Firefox extension to block "Web 2.0" sites and news. I just can't seem to get the right Regex to filter out ridiculously stupid names, but I'm getting there.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...