Click here to close now.


Agile Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Anders Wallgren, Elizabeth White, SmartBear Blog, 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 - 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
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, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context w...
There will be 20 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet soon. What if we could control these devices with our voice, mind, or gestures? What if we could teach these devices how to talk to each other? What if these devices could learn how to interact with us (and each other) to make our lives better? What if Jarvis was real? How can I gain these super powers? In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, will show you!
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target - this makes the integration of these separate pipelines and the coordination of software upd...
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, will keynote at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll share tips on how to speed up business initiatives, harness Big Data and remain one step ahead by apply...
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete end-to-end walkthrough of the analysis from start to finish. Participants will also be given the pract...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, will provide an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
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.
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver un...