Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: William Schmarzo, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, 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)

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
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
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...
CloudEXPO has been the M&A capital for Cloud companies for more than a decade with memorable acquisition news stories which came out of CloudEXPO expo floor. DevOpsSUMMIT New York faculty member Greg Bledsoe shared his views on IBM's Red Hat acquisition live from NASDAQ floor. Acquisition news was announced during CloudEXPO New York which took place November 12-13, 2019 in New York City.
OpsRamp is an enterprise IT operation platform provided by US-based OpsRamp, Inc. It provides SaaS services through support for increasingly complex cloud and hybrid computing environments from system operation to service management. The OpsRamp platform is a SaaS-based, multi-tenant solution that enables enterprise IT organizations and cloud service providers like JBS the flexibility and control they need to manage and monitor today's hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure, applications, and wor...
The Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) provides a comprehensive framework of theory and practice in the emerging field of AI. The program delivers the foundational knowledge needed to explore both key contextual areas and complex technical applications of AI systems. Curriculum incorporates elements of data science, robotics, and machine learning-enabling you to pursue a holistic and interdisciplinary course of study while preparing for a position in AI research, operations, ...
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...
Tapping into blockchain revolution early enough translates into a substantial business competitiveness advantage. Codete comprehensively develops custom, blockchain-based business solutions, founded on the most advanced cryptographic innovations, and striking a balance point between complexity of the technologies used in quickly-changing stack building, business impact, and cost-effectiveness. Codete researches and provides business consultancy in the field of single most thrilling innovative te...
Atmosera delivers modern cloud services that maximize the advantages of cloud-based infrastructures. Offering private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions, Atmosera works closely with customers to engineer, deploy, and operate cloud architectures with advanced services that deliver strategic business outcomes. Atmosera's expertise simplifies the process of cloud transformation and our 20+ years of experience managing complex IT environments provides our customers with the confidence and trust tha...
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...
Intel is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in the Silicon Valley. It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, and is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs). Intel supplies processors for computer system manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Intel also manufactu...