Why Web 2.0 still matters

Last week, I wrote about my company's thinking about social media, technology and why it's time to transform.  Here's another comment worth elevating and reblogging to continue the discussion.

"Transformation and revolution are two really different ideas, and the deeper the change you want to drive the more you better be prepared to persevere. Hard, important work gets done incrementally, iteratively and for now, experimentally. Which requires a healthy dose of failure, and often a lot of introspection. This post reads like a mashup of Bruce Nussbaum’s call for transformation and Tim O’Reilly’s Work on Stuff That Matters, but unfortunately tainted with a tone of disdain. There’s a good idea in this post, but it’s lost in the pointless attempt to kill what’s gone before."

Jennifer is the general manager of the Web 2.0 Expo and related events – she knows all about what the term "web 2.0" really means.  Point taken and clarification necessary here.

Tim O'Reilly provided the world with a seminal definition of Web 2.0 on September 30, 2005.  The key principles he outlines in the post are:
  1. Web as platform; 
  2. Harnessing collective intelligence;
  3. Data is the next Intel Inside;
  4. End of the software release cycle; and
  5. Lightweight programming models.

Have we really made good on these ideas?  You tell me, but I dont think so.  We've only scratched the surface on using the web as platform.  

For example, Google may have killed off some applications this week, but they've positioned their enterprise apps for success.  I'm guessing that most readers of this blog may have heard the first story, but missed the news on the second.  Most marketing-types are more interested in putting finished goods to work, rather than focusing upstream in the value chain.

Earlier, I wrote "the term Web 2.0 connotes incremental change and evolution, not revolution."  To be more precise in my thinking, it'll clarify:  the term Web 2.0 has been co-opted for nearsighted purposes that fail to realize the potential of the original concept's vision. In my experience, I've seen a lot of marketing applications that are merely incremental improvement over existing campaign tactics.  That's why it's time to transform.

My intent is not to kill the groundwork that's been laid for us by social computing pioneers (many mentioned by commenters on the previous post).  Quite the opposite – we need to get back to the original principles and work on stuff that matters in our own worlds.

If anything, Web 2.0 can't be "dead."  We haven't even gotten there yet.

For skeptics who predict it'll be DOA – then what are you doing, reading this blog, collaborating with its community of readers?  (Don't leave a comment, write me a letter about why you think I'm wrong.)

Being: Peter Kim