"And you know something is happening, but you don't know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?"
When it comes to figuring out where the Web is going, Mister Jones has lots of company: pundits and reporters, bloggers and professional analysts, executives who have staked their livelihood on guessing right and entrepreneurial programmers trying to hitch their careers to the next big trend.
The short history of the Web has been a roller-coaster ride, breathless optimism and wild speculation followed by the dot.
And so depending on how you look at it, the Web is now in a new stage of development. You could call it the "post dot.
Publisher Tim O'Reilly, who co-founded the Web 2.
So what exactly is Web 2.
|page views||cost per click|
|screen scraping||web services|
|content management systems||wikis|
|directories (taxonomy)||tagging ("folksonomy")|
Admittedly, this is imprecise stuff. gMister Jonesh himself might argue that this is just fashion: that Web 1.
Web applications come of age
O'Reilley's core defining principle of Web 2.
The conventional example of the Web as platform is the hosted application. Salesforce.
With hosted applications, improvement is continual, not incremental. Says O'Reilly: "The open source dictum, 'release early and release often' in fact has morphed into an even more radical position, 'the perpetual beta,' in which the product is developed in the open, with new features slipstreamed in on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. It's no accident that services such as Gmail, Google Maps, Flickr, del.
But the gWeb-as-platformh idea encompasses not just office and customer relations management software, but a slew of useful services that people first find convenient, then decide they can't live without. Email was the first example of this sort of "killer" Internet application, and search engines have followed-for most of us, doing without either is like having a lobotomy. If Google has a visible business model, it is to create equally addicting services, each of which has, in some form, sponsored links. That revenue model-which avoids flashy banner ads while still accommodating advertisers-has been Googlefs biggest, but least known, triumph. It has made the company rich.
O'Reilly argues that Netscape and Microsoft got it wrong. They operated on the assumption that the company that controls the browser controlled the Web. But now we know that the browser is just a commodity-there are variations on a theme but even a group of volunteers can produce a credible version, as the Mozilla project has shown.
"Google, by contrast, began its life as a native web application, never sold or packaged, but delivered as a service, with customers paying, directly or indirectly, for the use of that service," O'Reilly wrote. "None of the trappings of the old software industry are present. No scheduled software releases, just continuous improvement. No licensing or sale, just usage. No porting to different platforms so that customers can run the software on their own equipment, just a massively scalable collection of commodity PCs running open source operating systems plus homegrown applications and utilities that no one outside the company ever gets to see."
O'Reilly argues that DoubleClick, which sells a suite of applications related primarily to Internet advertising, is limited in the same way. "DoubleClick was ultimately limited by its business model. It bought into the '90s notion that the web was about publishing, not participation; that advertisers, not consumers, ought to call the shots; that size mattered, and that the internet was increasingly being dominated by the top websitesc. As a result, DoubleClick proudly cites on its website 'over 2000 successful implementations' of its software. Yahoo! Search Marketing (formerly Overture) and Google AdSense, by contrast, already serve hundreds of thousands of advertisers apiece."
Harnessing collective intelligence, proprietary data
Another Web 2.
O'Reilly argues that data ownership is still important-but what you do with it may be more important, still. "Database management is a core competency of Web 2.
Lightweight Programming Models: keep it simple
In Web 2.
Other Web 2.
0: real or hype?
So at the end of the day, is the Web 2.
Sidebar: Other Voices
Where is the Web going? Where have we arrived? While nobody is quite sure, there are plenty of opinions:
What we all failed to see was how much of this new world would be manufactured by users, not corporate interests. Amazon.
com customers rushed with surprising speed and intelligence to write the reviews that made the site's long-tail selection usable. Owners of Adobe, Apple, and most major software products offer help and advice on the developer's forum Web pages, serving as high-quality customer support for new buyers. And in the greatest leverage of the common user, Google turns traffic and link patterns generated by 2 billion searches a month into the organizing intelligence for a new economy. This bottom-up takeover was not in anyone's 10-year vision.
Editor-at-large, Wired magazine
The promoters of Web 2.
0 venerate the amateur and distrust the professional. We see it in their unalloyed praise of Wikipedia, and we see it in their worship of open-source software and myriad other examples of democratic creativity. Perhaps nowhere, though, is their love of amateurism so apparent as in their promotion of blogging as an alternative to what they call gthe mainstream media.
Author and former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review
It's clear that there is an explosion of innovation around the web again, and this is a great trend. There is a lot of opportunity, and this time, it doesn't take millions of dollars to follow a good idea to fruition. That's why we are seeing so many new ideas get to market.
Journalist, entrepreneur and co-moderator of this yearfs Web 2.
I am starting to get extremely tired and frustrated about every pitch that I see now where a company claims they are a Web 2.
0 company and lists their principal reasons for being Web 2. 0. It reminds me of the mid-90s when everyone said they were an Internet company and sprinkled their pitch with wild growth expectations from Jupiter Communications. Or when everyone said they were a Java company when Java was the cool buzzword. Frankly I do not care if you are Web 2. 0, Web 1. 0, etc. All I care about is what your service or product does, why it is valuable to the end user, why it is uniquely different from the competition, what the barriers to entry are, and how you plan on reaching your customers and how you will ultimately make money.
Founding member and managing director of Downtreader Ventures
Think of information as the energy of the Webfs ecosystem. Those Web 1.
0 pages with their crude hyperlinks are like the sunfs rays falling on a desert. A few stragglers are lucky enough to stumble across them, and thus some of that information might get reused if one then decides to e-mail the URL to a friend or to quote from it on another page. But most of the information goes to waste. In the Web 2. 0 model, we have thousands of services scrutinizing each new piece of information online, grabbing interesting bits, remixing them in new ways, and passing them along to other services.
gEmerging Technologyh columnist, Discover magazine
Those little ads - 12 word snippets of text, linked to topics that users are actually interested in - have turned Google into one of the biggest advertising vehicles the world has ever seen. This year, Google will sell $6.
1 billion in ads, nearly double what it sold last year, according to Anthony Noto, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. That is more advertising than is sold by any newspaper chain, magazine publisher or television network. By next year, Mr. Noto said, he expects Google to have advertising revenue of $9. 5 billion. That would place it fourth among American media companies in total ad sales after Viacom, the News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company, but ahead of giants including NBC Universal and Time Warner.
Reporter, New York Times
Microsoft Corp. today previewed two new Internet-based software services - Windows Live and Microsoft Office Live - designed to deliver rich and seamless experiences to individuals and small businesses. The new offerings combine the power of software plus services and are compelling enhancements to the Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office products. In particular, Windows Live helps bring together all the elements of an individualfs digital world while Office Live helps small companies do business online.
Microsoft press release
I don't know where this all leads, but, but one thing is sure: The tech industry is shifting into overdrive again.
Senior Writer, BusinessWeek Online, reporting on Windows Live