I have been lucky enough to have been invoved in the web industry through what would be termed the shift from web 1.0 to web 2.0 but well before the term was coined by Tim O’Riley in 2004, myself and fellow web geeks simply were just trying to push the boundaries as to what we could do with the emerging technology, new scripting languages, techniques and processes with out a thought as to giving it a shiney marketable buzzword name such as the now often mis-used term “Web 2.0”.
For those of us in the in-crowd the term quickly became a colloquial term for anything that did anything remotely inteactive on a website or even someone trying something new and different outside of the web development scene. Cries of “that is sooo 2.0” would often come from my good friend, fellow web & music geek and online trendspotter Dr Hitchcock for anything removely new and socially awesome (he ran indie music gigs and was a radio presenter for years and now runs his own online radio station). At least he knew what it meant… a change in attitude, more than a change in technology.
Web 2.0 is really about allowing conversations and spaces to collaborate and communicate online together (2-way) rather than the Web 1.0 way of some authoritarian source publishing what they want you to read. While there are many technologies and programming techniques that help facilite these services, it is not about the technology at all. Many of the technologies used are the same that have been around since the world wide web’s conception, HTTP, URI, TCP/IP the list of acroynoms goes on.
I think that some of the reason behind all the misconceptions of what “Web 2.0” is from a businesses adoption point of view comes from this: the technologies and interaction is the most visible part of this paradigm shift and so this is what people wanting to adopt “Web 2.0” see and then think that it is… the whizbang, the design and asthetic of it rather than the social change.
Perhaps making the mind shift to being more open to conversation with customers is percieved as either too hard or or too risky and left out of the equation when thinking about going enterprise 2.0? Having dealt with this first hand, I have lost count of the number of times a potential client has asked “…the internet is great… can I have some web 2.0 please?”, like it is something they can order from a takeaway menu to give them an edge in online business… do you want fries with that?
To give a quick breakdown of the various iterations that the web has been through (and will maybe go through) consider this “version numbering” way of framing it borrowed from the software development process.
Keep in mind that while this breaks the development up into neat segments and time spaces in reality as I mentioned the technologies overlap and many of the ideas have grown organically, blending and merging over time… the process has been anything but neat, tidy or orderly!.