This will be one of the most unsual posts I’ve written. Yes, I’ve given it a catchy name but if you hear me out for a while, then I may have a point or two. I’ll start off with an unusual rant from Josh Catone of SitePoint. I agree as well as disagree with whatever he has to say in his post named “The Day When Web 2.0 Died“.
For a lot of people, the term “Web 2.0,” ceased to mean anything real a long a time ago. For some, it never really meant anything to begin with. As someone who writes about the so-called second version of the web for a living, I think I’ve held onto the Web 2.0 term as long as I could. But today, “Web 2.0″ has officially jumped the shark for me. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop using it — as a blanket term to describe the industry that I write about it can be helpful — but I have to admit that it has now become somewhat of a parody.
Probably the most widely accepted definition is Tim O’Reilly’s compact definition: “Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as a platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform.”
If we track the evolution of Web or more so Web 2.0, then its still in the nascent stage in terms of years it has been around. Infact, the Web is just 5000 days old. But it gained mainstream traction when it came out of geekidom and into the table of the corporate board room. So definition remained murky since Web 2.0 adoption by companies are mainly for profits or generating revenues. It doesn’t matter what it meant and as usual, herd followed with the murkier definition.
So what caused me to finally admit that Web 2.0 has jumped the shark? It was waking up today, and finding a link to this story at PC World, a very mainstream computer publication: Web 2.0 Tactics for Successful Job-Hunting.
Among the “Web 2.0 tactics” that PC World recommends: letters of recommendation, staying current with your skills, and networking. Isn’t that how people have been searching for jobs nearly forever? What the heck is “Web 2.0″ about that? The only item on the list that could be even mildly considered to have some sort of tie in with what we generally like to think of as Web 2.0 was “Upgrade your online image,” in which the authors recommend joining relevant online social communities like LinkedIn, and Twitter, blogging, and making sure your profiles at other social sites are clean of college party photos.
First of all, I believe what it meant was to use current Web 2.0 professional networks like LinkedIn, Twitter or your blog to leverage your position. So even though PC world made it sound like offline job searching but I assume the power of Web 2.0 cannot be outrightly ruled off as of now.
….there really is no such thing as Web 2.0, or Web 3.0 for that matter, there is just the web. “Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 — they don’t really exist. They’re just arbitrary numbers assigned to something that doesn’t really have versions”.
Primarily, it’s true that it’s just an arbritary definition. But to take it further, it also marks the transition period. What it defines is quite elusive right now because of the Web 2.0 marketing practitioners. Most of the companies which have used Web 2.0 as a platform to achieve success are still in the learning curve because of outright denial of mass marketing and adopting new age web tools to engage or excite consumers for that elusive ROI.
So to conclude, it doesn’t matter whether we are in Web 2.0 or Web 3.0 era. What is means for marketers like us is effective utilization of such platform to max our revenues without being intrusive, invasive and pushy. So Web 2.0 or Web 3.0 or any subsequent versions are just a reminder for all of us that shift has begun. And we have to act. And about PC world, all I’ve to say is in real world, one bad apple can screw up the rest but in online world where connectivity and collaboration matters, it’s just one of those bad examples I can think off.