Web 2.0: There, I Said It

I made a secret promise to myself months ago that I would not use the phrase “Web 2.0” here because it sounded too much like “pre-owned cars.” Just another fancy sounding slogan created by marketers somewhere to entice people into believing it’s something more than it really is.

But Reuters has an article today that actually brought the whole Web 2.0 thing into focus for me. Rather than try to describe it (and thereby irritate me all over again), the article uses examples. Those examples are TypePad, Flickr and Del.icio.us. The article sums up Web 2.0 this way: “hosted online, relying heavily on users’ submissions, and frequently updated and tweaked by their owners.”

Anyone who reads this site knows that I think Flickr is the greatest thing going right now. I also use Del.icio.us daily. Add in some others like Technorati, Memeorandum and all the blogs I read and it becomes pretty apparent that pretty much my entire internet experience these days is all about Web 2.0.

It also becomes clear that Web 2.0 is a close cousin of the decentralization of media content that I am so interested in. The results of the process are more important than the name of the process, so I guess I better start looking at and thinking about this Web 2.0 business.

One of the issues with Web 2.0 is that people become dependent on remotely hosted services which, because of scale and other issues, occasionally (and sometime more often than that) have outages. When I can’t make a post here or see photos or find good content to read because my blogging platform, Flickr or Technorati is down or acting up, it really bugs me. Web 2.0 moves in real time, and the reliability of these services will be one of the major testing grounds for their success. Given all of the changes that have occurred over the past year or so that lead to the Web 2.0 movement and that have spurred its incredible growth, however, we users have to accept and understand (at least for a while and to a point) that outages and hiccups will accompany the growing pains. Del.icio.us’s frequent outages since it was bought by Yahoo are annoying now, but in order to be stable and scalable later, there have to be repairs and maintenance now. That’s the order of well managed things- both on the web and in the real world.

We’ve just begun the Web 2.0 movement and I am certain there are a lot more treats in store for us. But the price for enjoying this new technology is the bumps along the way. It seems to me that’s a pretty fair price.

Since I am so in favor of the concept behind Web 2.0, I guess I have to cowboy up (as I sometimes tell my kids) and use the dreaded word.

Just don’t make me call my large, ornate cabinet an armoire.

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