Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Andy Thurai

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: Article

Web 2.0 – Revolution or Mere Rebellion?

Is Web 2.0 the Advent of the Post-Modern Internet?

A question was recently asked by a young observer of the Web 2.0 scene, Skinner Layne. "Is this the advent of the Post-Modern Internet?" Layne contends that the key thing to determine about Web 2.0 is whether it is best characterized as a revolution in Web development or as a rebellion against Web 1.0 – two quite different things.

His chosen analogy is the French vs. the American revolution:

“Web 2.0 can take two distinct directions … [it] can be the French Revolution of Technology or it can be the American Revolution of Technology.”
His sense appears to be that Web 2.0 is more of a rebellion, a corrective to Web 1.0 which he calls “a destination-driven experience, one created not by users, but for users, and with little input or insight from them at all.”

There is a reason that this interpretation is bad news for Web 2.0 fanboys. As Layne puts it:

“The problem with successful rebellions is that rebels rarely know how to govern or else they take up the mantle of those against whom they rebelled, and like Orwell’s pigs in Animal Farm, they begin to sleep in the old rulers’ beds.”
Indeed Layne’s not altogether comfortable with the version number approach in and of itself:
“Web 2.0, Search 2.0, Life 2.0, World 2.0. The metaphor of software versions to describe technological and social phenomena once upon a time was clever. But, as with all clever sayings, it became overused and is now cliché. The draw toward terms like 'Web 2.0' is of course that it makes a strong implication that what it represents is a ‘next generation’ of something good enough to have gotten a second run. The trouble with such monikers, though, is their post-modern tendency to merely be what came after.”
Having introduced the notion of post-modernity into his essay, Layne then drops another word-bomb by referring to “the advent of the Post-Modern Internet embodied in the Web 2.0 movement.” Thus begging the question: Is Web 2.0 the Advent of the Post-Modern Internet? [My emphasis.]

There’s ten times more disagreement about what “post-modern” connotes than about what “Web 2.0” means simply because the former term has been around a lot longer than the latter. But even so, it is intriguing to contemplate that a phenomenon as young as the Internet might have already moved into its second era.

Are we entering a new historical period of the Internet and the Web, or merely an extension of the existing one?

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 (8) 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
Mark Scrimshire 10/26/06 01:38:23 PM EDT

Jeremy,

Your sign off question in this article is a great one
Are we entering a new historical period of the Internet and the Web, or merely an extension of the existing one?

I believe we are entering a new period - influenced increasingly by the cell phone. See the comments in my blog (http://ekive.blogspot.com/2006/10/web-20-new-dawn.html)

roguegramma 10/21/06 08:11:18 AM EDT

Web 2.0 is a mistake, because it replaces HTML standards with non-standardized javascript glue code. Example for bad effects: pages will in general no longer be bookmarkable, much like it was when frames came up.

It is a bit like "the revenge of the Java programmers": Somehow Java didn't take over web programming, so now the minds are working on converting HTML into Java. For example - View link: http://www.jackslocum.com/yui/2006/10/19/cross-browser-web-20-layouts-wi...)

It is a sophisticated joke when a simple layout that could have been done by a using a table(OMG tables!?) somehow requires using a layout manager and javascript (Of course, I agree it is cool in a sick way, and you get the panes for free).

Geoff Livingston 10/20/06 09:01:34 AM EDT

Here's a hot communications use of web 2.0 technology. Local B2B blog Neighbors Serving Neighbors, owned by Rick Dassler, primarily uses YouTube video shorts to disseminate valuable business tips. Great idea, Rick!

Here's the link: http://servingneighbors.typepad.com/

rogerd 10/20/06 08:56:10 AM EDT

Amidst all of the gushing in the press over Web 2.0, a dark side is emerging. One issue that may not be too startling is that while having users add content to sites is indeed wonderful, it also lets users add stuff that site owners don't want - spam links, slanderous statements, false reviews, phony identities, etc.

Discussion forum operators have had to cope with these issues for years, but I'm sure a few starry-eyed Web 2.0 fans will be shocked when they find that some portion of their visitors aren't there to improve the site and benefit humanity.

Stephan-Marc Solomon 10/20/06 05:02:19 AM EDT

I wouldn't even call it a revolution. Revolutions are bloody and violent. Like DotBomb with all its overrated IPOs. That was a revolution. We have a german saying, which probably translates into something like "the revolution eats its own children". That's what happened to web 1.0. And I don't believe that this will happen to the so-called web 2.0.
I would prefer to call web 2.0 a "transformation".

And yes, web 2.0 definitely has something post-modernish: just look at mashups. They constitute something that is typical of post-modern thought: everything has allready been said, and done. Everything is a quotation: it can only be copied and mixed. That's how something "new" is created.

Noah Brier 10/19/06 11:55:12 PM EDT

Blogs are an interesting problem for an organization. For one, they do not subscribe to the command and control ideology so many corporate communication departments use. Secondly, blogs cut across the silos. It's a communication/product/sales/marketing initiative. That leads to 'ownership' questions.

Ultimately, digitalness is at the core of the whole debate. In an analog world, silos were mostly okay, information couldn't really move across disciplines anyway. But in a digital world, where all information is made up of the same ones and zeros, those walls don't work so well.

This is bigger than just business, look at terrorism: The perfect example of a networked architecture fighting a more traditional hierarchical one. Just ask the United States army and they'll tell you it doesn't work so well.

Look at schools. Here they are broadcasting at students used to engaging with media. The system simply wasn't built to deal with a wired world and America's children are suffering as a result.

Bottom line is we are living in a very different world than we did fifty years ago and structures built then are going to be forced to change.

Charry Ellis 10/19/06 11:49:32 PM EDT

The postmodern mind is one that pieces thoughts and belief systems from a collection of pre-existing ones.

For example, the postmodern musician crafts music from a compilation of other works. The creativity of form is derived from the way in which the pieces are compiled, thus making it new and original. George Barna, a sociologist and postmodern theorists out of Santa Barbara, CA, calls this the "mosaic."

Postmodern creation is non-linear in its construct.

an0n 10/19/06 11:46:48 PM EDT

Whoever the nerd behind web 2.0 is needs to be shot and killed. Why? What the heck are you going to do with web 2.0 except kill your time? Del.icio.us has to be the biggest waste of a web site ever.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...