“The meme map is visual indication
that “Web 2.0” has joined “SOA” as a buzzword that is too ill-defined
to have a serious technical discussion about. It is now associated with
every hip trend on the Web. Social Networking? That’s Web 2.0. Websites
with APIs? That’s Web 2.0. The Long Tail? That’s Web 2.0. AJAX? That’s
Web 2.0. Tagging and Folksonomies? That’s Web 2.0 too. Even blogging?
Yep, Web 2.0. “
Yes, the Web 2.0 meme
has been around a while, but it hasn’t got close to the technology /
business media mainstream yet (one recent and notable exception is last week’s Business Week article). As it propagates, (if it propagates?) the meme will also evolve, as most memes do.
Part of its evolution will include the meme’s definition
– it will almost certainly incorporate the software genres, the
business models and the new online experiences as part of its
definition as it propagates – anything that help it propagate. Why?
Because people need labels and pigeon holes, they need to encapsulate
and describe concepts and their experiences with words – a brand, a
meme, a label (as you know, these make concepts easy for media
communicate, for the bloggers to pick up and run with, for the internal
web / tech folks at companies and IT consultants to evangelize – memes
are powerful marketing vehicles).
The ‘dotcom’ was the last meme that did
this for the web (I’m aware of ‘dotcom’s negative connotation and its
association with greed…Web 2.0 is not about dotcoms and making
‘loadsamoney’, it means something quite different). And I think Web 2.0
is that meme this time around. There is a general sense emerging that
we are entering the second web-powered creative and economic boom
(rightly or wrongly, and of course this means an inevitable second
bust, but hey) – the media want another boom, so do businesses and
consumers. What to call it this new web? How is it enabled? What are
its distinguishing features? What makes it different to the ‘last web’?
Was there a ‘last’ web?
Web 2.0 as it is currently defined and understood is really a set of memes (a memeplex). What Tim O’Reilly did was to capture these into a single image (the Web 2.0 meme map …here’s a bit self promotion from me, I think: Microsoft is playing and very well positioned in this Web 2.0 space).
The Web 2.0 meme
is as much about new business opportunities, business models and
customer experiences as it is about APIs/WSs and distributed computing.
The ‘Web as a Platform’ is actually probably the closest meme there is to Web 2.0.
Update: Mashable has some links relating to all this malarky.