O'Reilly: Redefining the elusive Web 2.0

O'Reilly: Redefining the elusive Web 2.0

Summary: Tim O'Reilly takes another whack at defining Web 2.0 with new, more compact paragraph to capture the essence of the term, concept, movement, trend, fad, flavor or whatever you want to call it.

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TOPICS: Enterprise 2.0
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Tim O'Reilly takes another whack at defining Web 2.0 with new, more compact paragraph to capture the essence of the term, concept, movement, trend, fad, flavor or whatever you want to call it.
Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them. (This is what I've elsewhere called "harnessing collective intelligence.")

He also cites Eric Schmidt's pithy phrase, "Don't fight the Internet," as emblematic of Web 2.0. In the comments to O'Reilly's post, someone wrote one of the best proto-definitions I have seen so far:

Maybe one day my grandson asks me what Web 2.0 is. I guess I'll say: Web 2.0 was the moment when we stopped using computers and started using the Internet.

By that definition, Web 2.0 is not quite here yet. Computers still get in the way too much.

Topic: Enterprise 2.0

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  • "collective intelligence"?

    Doesn't this run contrary to the well established notion that one should never underestimate the stupidity of people in large groups?

    I think if you follow "collective intelligence" then you end up with numbing conformity. Most new ideas have come from mavericks more prepared to stand up for their ideas than fit in with the crowd.

    I think we can therefore see Web 2.0 at best as an invitation to mediocrity, at worst as the start of something altogether more sinister (in what other societies has collective thinking been praised as a higher good than individuals independently using their reason?).
    jorwell