Chiming In: Stop Bashing Web 2.0
I just wanted to add the the comments over at 5 1/2 and try and add a little bit here. Some to support, some to challenge:
The current web sucks
No it doesn't, the current web is awesome, if it wasn't, this conversation would not be happening. If all of these great new solutions like Flickr and Delicious exist right now then it is not the web that sucks it is rather the approach to web development that sucks.
You know, Delicious also probably would validate as HTML 1.0 almost, but the value in the Delicious experience is not actually in the quality of the browser interface as much as it is in the quality of the service. I use the Delicious extensions for Firefox, so I rarely actually visit the site ever, just leverage the service, all the time. That is really what the web 2.0 in what you are talking about is all about.
Right now I am able to achieve the majority of what I want to achieve on the web very easily. That makes the web very effective for me, but like you I want more, but the reason I want more is that I know more is possible, the majority of people do not feel that way yet.
My girlfiend's mom and Dad were over tonight, and her mom works for the federal government of Canada. They were talking about how just recently they got the go ahead to start using Google at work. Can you believe that? They were saying how awesome it was and how much it bettered their digital experience. To me it is web 101, I couldn't imagine not having access to it.
So the web does not suck right now at all for most people, we are just way ahead of the pack. With Web 2.0 we just want to layout where we go from here, we are not trying to redefine everything that has been done up till now. That is a really important fact to understand. Nothing is wrong, the future just can be built better from here on in, when the majority catches up to us.
Web 1.0 was about money, web 2.0 is going to be about money AND data
Well truth is, everything is always about money, that's what gives us the ability to sit and spend time thinking about this kind of stuff. So the mention of it if both web 1.0 and 2.0 are about it is kind of silly. Web 1.0 is about data, and Web 2.0 is also about data. Web 1.0 was about delievering data with presentation rules, where web 2.0 seems focused on delivering data without the presentation, focus on service rather than publishing.
I think there are two issues really being summed up here in regards to data:
Folksonomy: Having the users drive contribute and enrich content, therefore creating reputational value around data. that reputational value is what drives transactions to occur (EBay). Yes there is money to be made here, as it is appearing that peers trust the opinions of each other more than they trust that of the man (Digg).
Long Tail: Now that geography is not an issue due to the internet, more money can be made from the cumulative sum of selling everything that is possibly available, than there is from putting all the money into marketing the top 100 items and hoping enough will be sold. (Amazon, EBay)
Web 1.0 was not about money to me. Web 1.0 was about publishing. In Web 2.0 nothing will be published per se. Everything will revolve in a perpetual beta cycle of service. Works will never be considered a whole, but rather part of a cumulative social conglomeration. For example, myself and the original blogger having this conversation over two different (Websites Web 1.0) (Blogs Web 2.0). In the future users will be concerned with contributing just as much as they will be with consuming.
So it is not really about data, because the data has always been there. It is more about facilitating transactions of data as well as the consumption of data.
Web 2.0 is going to be the .com bubble all over again
Perhaps this is true, but that's what you get when people really don't think things out. We are not sitting here discussing how the future is going to be. We are sitting here discussing how the future may be if we take a certain approach. So I agree that all of this may be BS.
As a matter of fact, while I was listening to the following MP3 today I was disturbed to hear what I heard from one of the founders of Flickr.
He said, and I am paraphrasing here, that "Typically people do not start a business to make money, they do it because they want to do something" (2:50 in the mp3). While they have seen success, and I do believe that people should be passionate about what they do, that perspective is in direct opposition to the fundamentals of business. Good business looks for demand and generates a supply to fill that demand. Creating supply with no demand is a recipe for failure.
When we are floating in an R&D period like we have in the web world around 2000 and again now, it seems possible to get away with statements like this, but really there is no success in this approach outside of R&D, and yes it will lead to a crash.
In the end, very few people who invested in web 2.0 are going to gain financially; only users will win
Maybe, the more I think about this concept the more I see Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft winning. they will gain by charging for access to the API of the service offered. I can likely see all of the API's that we are growing to love: Flickr, Google (Everything), Delicious, and everything else coming down the pipe charging us to utilize the API. It just makes sense. It is at that time that all of the "beta" references will start to come off these web services.
Those who control the data will profit from it, and that is truly who stands to win here.We as end users may win in a way, but we will end up paying to do so, as our favourite interfaces charge a premium on the cost that Yahoo wants me to pay for utilizing the Flickr API. Banks already do this with Interac. Interac is probably the best peek into the future of web service APIs and the business models that will arise.
Open-source is not going to save the world
I don't think that open-source is really relevant in the context it has been put in, in the web 2.0 argument. In the web 2.0 world, open source does not mean PHP over ASP or ColdFusion, it means exposing public APIs to be leveraged by other systems.
In that world it makes no difference what you use to implement your solution, as long as it talks to others in a standard way.
Open Source and Web 2.0 mean something totally different to me than open source traditionally means. Interoperability via web services is built on the fact that the underlying technology is irrelevent, because the communication protocol is universal.
So you're are right, it will not save the world. The world does not need saving.
Web 2.0 is not about Flash
You are right, Web 2.0 is not a suggestion of technical implementation because again, based on the definition, the implementation is irrelevent if we all follow the web 2.0 mandate. While standards evangelists will go on and on about AJAX, technology used to implement an interface will no longer need to be standard. AJAX and Flash will not be the only player here, many other applications will get involved as browser divergence continues to occur and on a larger scale.
However, Flash is about Rich Internet Applications which is a manifestation of Web 2.0. Sure there is AJAX, but who cares, use what you are comfortable with and what achieves results for end users.
I have to put this in here, but we built a Rich Internet Application for Investment bankers called the SNL Merger Model. Flash enabled us to build this web application and make it fit right in with the desktop experience of using Excel. We built what would usually be desktop software on the web and Flash got us there.
While it is not everything, it sure facilitates many of the goals of the Web 2.0 vision. dont' overestimate it's power, but don't underestimate it either.
This hammer won't measure how long I have to cut this wood, but it will certainly hold the whole thing together nicely when I drive some nails in with this baby!
You know I like to eat at this place in Ottawa called The Works. They have a crappy website that does not use Flash advantageously but they do have an awesome menu.
They basically have about 30-40 different burgers. Some have BBQ sauce, some have Brie cheese and some even have peanut butter. All of these different combinations of toppings though are delivered to you on the same burger, and that is their business. Imagine in a year from now if The Works stopped dressing the burgers and just cooked the paties up. Maybe a few business would open up right in front that would take the same paties and serve them up with different topings and different side dishes. If they did, then that would help most people understand why discussing on what technology an interface for a web 2.0 application should be built is totally irrelevant.
Hopefully it's is able to be built on all of them.
Web 2.0 is about obvious things, web 3.0 is about complicated things
Don't agree here. Web 2.0 is about simple things now, because those are the only examples we have to work from. Managing social bookmarks(digg,delicious), photos(flickr), making calls over the internet(skype), explaining everything that exists(wikipedia), etc. A few years from now the seriously complicated things that we will be using web 2.0 concepts to achieve will lead to yet another breakthrough hopefully.
What we are doing now though is a gut check. The web development community is reviewing it's own progress and discussing future direction. Nothing is wrong, but new possibilities are arising.
Web 3.0, no way, don't try it. We can barely convey a web 2.0 world from a 1.0 perspective. A 3.0 world will only be visible from a qualified 2.0 perspective.
In terms of making money solving obvious problems as opposed to hard problems, well obvious problems need solutions now, and most people will pay money for a solution to that obvious problem. Hard problems aren't a priority yet, so we can forget about them for now. Or Wait! Have we even thought them up yet? Or are we trying to create future business cases arond problems that don't exist yet? Maybe, that is why bubbles happen I think. To far ahead of the demand by years in fact.