Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, ManageEngine IT Matters, Liz McMillan

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 script.aculo.us - 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
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deliver...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to ma...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...