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Thursday, October 06, 2005

YATOW2.0 - Yet Another Take On Web 2.0

People are lazy. Analysts are lazy. The Media is lazy. Everyone likes to have a "magic bullet" and right now that bullet is "Web 2.0" (large timpani beats here). Everyone seems to have an opinion on what Web 2.0 is and what it isn't. And now we're starting to hear the "Yeah, but is it a business model?" chatter as well. I've been following this meme for awhile now and I think I have a take which is sufficiently differentiated enough to share. (Hallmark of bloggers: Narcissistic view of the importance and desireability of their opinions. I am no exception.)
What the Web 2.0 means to me:
  • Web 2.0 refers to a set of characteristics embodied by the recent spate of innovative Internet services that are coining big money being sold to Google, Yahoo! and Barry Diller. Those characteristics are:
    • Social Web Interaction: As more and more people take to the web and adopt its capabilities to communicate outward (rather than inward-only with other media forms), Web 2.0 Internet services enable, neigh - empower, those voices. Oh, and further it enables these voices to interact and communicate with each other eventually building virtual communities.
      • Prime Mover: Blogger.com
      • Special Credit: Ross Mayfield - "Web 2.0 is made of people! - people!"
      • Unspoken implication: Who we are will be less defined by our immediate physical community and more by our chosen Internet communities. Where is your Internet playground?
      • Founding dominant clique: The OpenSource/Free Media crowd.
      • The Bourgeoisie: Start-up flippers.
    • Open API's - let other bright people take an Internet service's results, features and capabilities and futz/remix them for their own purposes.
    • Preferred Technology Framework: AJAX
      • Translation: We need real, fat, ubiquitous broadband as this is a hack to make web applications feel real-time over spotty DSL and latency-prone servers.
      • Underappreciated Evangelists: Adaptive Path - You go Janice!
  • Some cynical observations regarding Web 2.0:
    • Biggest misconception: Web 2.0 is a business model! No man, it's just a set of guidelines that will make an Internet service/application become more widely adopted in the current early-adopter cultural/commercial/technological milieu.
    • Most likely concept to be ignored as the bubble grows: The underlying application has to have its own value.
    • Boomerangs: Wacky, visionary, executives that have been hiding since Kibu.com blew up. Oh, and those wacky "strategy" consultants/incubators/coaches/etc... Oh, and technology that no one really understands what the hell it's good for but will likely get a huge valuation - Ning.
    • The new Industry Standard: AlwaysOn
    • Unavoidable Crash: More VC money looking for the next Google run into start-ups that don't need (or want) their capital.
So, why in the hell am I writing about this? Because of all of the M&As that are occuring in the sector. Yahoo! just bought Upcoming.org. Great, but why couldn't Yahoo! create this on their own. More importantly: why didn't they

Snarky, yes. Entertaining, maybe. Informative, hopefully...

16 Comments:

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