Beyond the Hype, What is Web 2.0? at WITI Conf 2006 – Santa Clara, CA

Currently attending WITI Conf being held in Santa Clara, CA Oct 29-31st.

I was a panelist on the “Web 2.0; Beyond The Hype, What Is It?”

The Web 2.0 topic pops up all the time and mostly what people ask is, “Is it a tool?”

How secure is it? Why do we care so much about it?


I think during this session we covered that and more.

The best way to think about Web 2.0 is: It is a way of thinking. I like to call it “Web 2.0 methodology.” Really because for those who understand CMMI and Agile metrologies of software development they can see this as a way of thinking about the Web users.


Tim O’Reilly coined the term in his article “What is Web 2.0?”

And now everyone is left wondering what is this new tool to help with the Web. It is not a tool, it is a way of thinking about:

Ø  How connected the web will become – to enable the user to do more with typing and spending less time

Ø  How richer the user experience (UX) will become

Ø  How all web sites will offer tools for you to create what you need, how you need it and when you need it

Ø  How your websites will now get quicker responses and feedback from the users


So really what is it? Susan Wojcicki, Vice President of Product Management, Google says: “It is just a hype, really it is a way of thinking.”

Numerous people told me later they really like the term “methodology.”


Certainly most people are worried about:

Ø  Quality of information

Ø  How secure will it be

Ø  How can I decipher the best content from all I see

Ø  How can people just share everything with everyone

Funny thing is, I think it is a mind shift. We are already sharing information with people, with our neighbors, and friends. We already take a risk of walking out of our house every day, and in reality, if someone wanted to find you they will, because there are many ways to find you, really sharing what you have come to experience or learn on the web doesn’t make you any more or less “find-able.”


And ultimately there are several tools to keep in mind while you look at Web 2.0:

Ø  Microsoft’s Expression suite of tools for richer and more connected User Experience

Ø  Microsoft’s AJAX libraries

Ø  Ruby on Rails as a open source dynamic language (they are looking to find the best virtual machine but it is a language where you can do a lot of the beginning website setup in a short time, but for more larger scale sites you have to be mindful)

Ø  PHP, JavaScript, and most other scripting languages along with Microsoft’s latest .Net Framework 3.0 (free for download)  which enables more connected and richer user experience solutions with less effort and time.


Really all in all the panel was interesting but would have liked to have a more technical and business value discussion, rather than an overview of what it is. Most questions people asked after the panel led me to think, they were looking for what is next from Web 2.0 and how do we apply it to business, rather than what is it?

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