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Blog: Getting 2.0ed Out: When Will Web 2.0 and Other 2.0 Terms Fade Away?

Blog: Getting 2.0ed Out: When Will Web 2.0 and Other 2.0 Terms Fade Away?

After spending last Thursday at the Office 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, I came to the conclusion it's time to move on from all things 2.0. Let's surrender enterprise 2.0, office 2.0, and maybe even Web 2.0 to the marketing, PR folks and journalists (present company included) who eviscerated and overused the terms, and let's work up a more honest term that describes these technologies more precisely.

Web 2.0, under the original version established by Tim O'Reilly in 2004 and 2005, has no doubt been helpful in communicating the central idea that technologies on the Web have evolved to become more user-friendly, interactive and feature rich, opposed to the Web of the 1990s marked by boring textual interfaces and few ways for users (with little or no technical experience) to contribute.

Not everyone liked Web 2.0 though. Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the world wide web, called it a piece of jargon and said the technologies and goals described by Web 2.0 had already been around since the alleged days of Web 1.0. Blogs and wikis had been around long before Web 2.0 as a term, he contended.

I didn't fully agree with this "you can't reinvent the wheel" argument though. To me, it all sounded like sour grapes (I've likened it to hardcore fans of an unknown band who get pissed off when that band plays some hits and goes mainstream).

Yes, we all know, blogs and wikis were invented long before 2004. We got it.

But blogs, wikis and other social and collaborative technologies weren't as easy for an average Joe to use or apply to his or her life in the 1990s or even the early part of this decade, and the Web 2.0 movement (and term) helped facilitate bringing those technologies to the mainstream by software makers building user-friendly tools.

But then we got a little 2.0 happy. It started with the very insightful Harvard Professor, Andrew McAffee, who used the term Enterprise 2.0 to describe the addition of Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, wikis and social networks inside the corporation. I doubt he could have guessed it would become the marketing mantra for a plethora of software companies and an eventual conference name in Boston.

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