Web 3.0? But what happened to Web 2.1?

The dot-oh syndrome stirs something deep within all of us; that nagging need to keep up and not get left behind. Windows 95 users know that feeling all too well by now.

There's been plenty of eye-rolling over The New York Times' christening of the "Web 3.0" moniker, but perhaps there's something to be said for assigning version numbers formerly reserved for software releases to entire trends at large. It's techy, it's edgy, it demands immediate action.

We know anytime a new version number of something is out there, anyone who doesn't make the move as fast as possible to the next upgrade is guilty, guilty, guilty of keeping themselves and their organizations back in the stone age while the rest of the world jets into glorious new digital realms. Get those wallets open!

Paul Kiel calls this latest phenomenon "dot-oh," or "version-controlled terminology used as marketing speak to describe a concept."  Paul adds that the "concept may be a new one, or it may simply be new to the marketing department.  Most importantly, advocates want readers to believe it is new."

The dot-oh syndrome stirs something deep within all of us; that nagging need to keep up and not get left behind. Windows 95 users know that feeling all too well by now, as do organizations still running apps on OS/390. Sharp, in-the-know minds have informed us that its time to open up those wallets, to move up and out from the current outdated paradigm we are wallowing in, and get with the program.

In this spirit of "trend versioning," then, I would like to add a few of my own suggestions for the next wave of "upgrades" that are currently due:

Dot-Com 2.0: Remember the 1990s, when all we had to worry about was Monica Lewinsky and where to stuff all that money flowing in? It's time for the next wave of Internet e-commerce companies is due to arrive, still with no visible sources of revenue, just lots of VC cash and crazy dreams about changing the world. Let's bring back those greatly inflated and overpromised employee stock options, and, most importantly, a new generation of pinball machines for employee work areas.

Y2K 2.0: Why not? Yes, some Swedish transit system did have problems when year 2000 hit, but why let it happen again? Surely there's a new market for services and software for renewed efforts to overhaul systems with Y2K fixes that are set to unravel. Someone has to do something about all those internal system clocks that were reset to 1972, after all -- 2028 is just around the corner. (The 2000 calendar matched 1972, allowing for a quick fix.) Or how about help for those developers and architects trying to figure out that tangle of bridge code that converts two-digit years to four-digit years and then back to two-digit years over and over again?

Open Source 2.0: Open source 1.0 has just about run its course, don't you think? And vendors really did not get a fair shake during that go-around. It's time to launch the Open Source 2.0 paradigm, this time with plenty of vendor involvement to really get the hype momentum going, and money flowing for a change. Oracle has done a great job of turning the openness of open source against an open source vendor, Sun is kinda open sourcing things, and Microsoft has finally peeked its head inside the door to see what the commotion is all about. It really will be fun if Microsoft got religion and open sourced Windows and Office, or at least came out with a version of Office that runs on Linux.