Web 2.0: It's ... like your brain on LSD!

But what is it really?


Friday Poll There's much fretting about what Web 2.0 really is. It's twice as cosmic, but what is it?

Conference co-organizer Tim O'Reilly's first attempt to explain it spanned five pages, and produced the following. Apparently it's a fridge magnet game, and Business Week, which is positioning itself as the indispensable weekly for the Hive Mind, faithfully reprinted it.

But all we saw was little sighs and coughs trying to be words, words trying to be catchphrases, and phrases trying to be paradigm-shifting, world-changing ideas. It still didn't make much sense.

(And by the way - what's "perpetual beta" doing there? In case you missed that ace new concept, it's just floating around on the center-left, ominously close to the large orange rectangle in the middle. Well, sorry guys. Microsoft beat you to that one a long time ago. We've been waiting for the Longhorn "cured version of Windows" for 73 years now. And a usable desktop version of Linux for almost as long.)

Aware of the confusion, Transcendental Tim returned to the challenge, and rushed off this, which is at least a full sentence:

Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an "architecture of participation," and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences.

Author Steven "Emergence" Johnson chipped in with this, another earthy metaphor, that as we noticed, they take to like cats take to catnip:

"The difference between this Web 2.0 model and the previous one is directly equivalent to the difference between a rain forest and a desert."

Which means right now, you're staring at some sand.

"This is good news whether we love poodles or not," he said inexplicably. But Steven wrote a best-selling book called Everything Bad Is Good For You - so maybe that's a bad news. Or is it?

Now social software smoothie Ross Mayfield thinks he's cracked it. In a brilliant blog post, he proclaimed

Web 2.0 is made out of people

That's all I have to say.

He didn't need to say anymore: the cry rang around the blogs. Yes, that's it!

Then we remembered it was the punchline of the movie Soylent Green, where corpses are reconstituted into food. Yeeeuch!

Well, we thought since no one can tell us what it is, except for projecting fantasies of what they think it should be, something must be done, before investors lose their shirts. So we're throwing it open to the "collective intelligence" of El Reg, as no one does funnies next generation global computing architectures quite like you on a Friday.


Web 2.0 is made of ...

 


All you have to do is click on the appropriate link. It contains a Web 1.0 mailto: indicating your preference. Then hit send. Or, you can substitute your own marketing jargon or buzzword, if you're feeling inspired.

The best one gets… oh, something. Good luck. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Lunar rocks brought to Earth by China's Chang'e 5 show Moon's volcanoes were recently* active

    * Just a couple of billion years

    The Moon remained volcanically active much later than previously thought, judging from fragments of rocks dating back two billion years that were collected by China's Chang’e 5 spacecraft.

    The Middle Kingdom's space agency obtained about 1.72 kilograms (3.8 pounds) of lunar material from its probe that returned to Earth from the Moon in December. These samples gave scientists their first chance to get their hands on fresh Moon material in the 40 years since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 mission brought 170 grams (six ounces) of regolith to our home world in 1976.

    The 47 shards of basalt rocks retrieved by Chang'e 5 were estimated to be around two billion years old using radiometric dating techniques. The relatively young age means that the Moon was still volcanically active up to 900 million years later than previous estimates, according to a team of researchers led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

    Continue reading
  • Centre for Computing History apologises to customers for 'embarrassing' breach

    Website patched following phishing scam, no financial data exposed

    The Centre for Computing History (CCH) in Cambridge, England, has apologised for an "embarrassing" breach in its online customer datafile, though thankfully no payment card information was exposed.

    The museum for computers and video games said it was notified that a unique email address used to book tickets via its website "has subsequently received a phishing email that looked like it came from HSBC."

    "Our investigation has revealed that our online customer datafile has been compromised and the email addresses contained within are now in the hands of spammers," says the letter to visitors from Jason Fitzpatrick, CEO and trustee at CCH dated 19 October.

    Continue reading
  • Ancient with a dash of modern: We joined the Royal Navy to find there's little new in naval navigation

    Following the Fleet Navigating Officers' course

    Boatnotes II The art of not driving your warship into the coast or the seabed is a curious blend of the ancient and the very modern, as The Reg discovered while observing the Royal Navy's Fleet Navigating Officers' (FNO) course.

    Held aboard HMS Severn, "sea week" of the FNO course involves taking students fresh from classroom training and putting them on the bridge of a real live ship – and then watching them navigate through progressively harder real-life challenges.

    "It's about finding where the students' capacity limit is," FNO instructor Lieutenant Commander Mark Raeburn told The Register. Safety comes first: the Navy isn't interested in having navigators who can't keep up with the pressures and volume of information during pilotage close to shore – or near enemy minefields.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021