What’s 2.0 2.0?

You know — I used to be the kind of guy who sneered at people who said things like “Web 2.0” or “whatever 2.0.” I still am. I am not by nature a joiner. For the longest time in the mid-nineties I resisted using the indefinite article in front of the word email (as in “I’ll send you an email.”) I still believe the word email is not a singular noun. “I’ll send you email” is correct. “I’ll send you an email” is incorrect. I always have to apologize in advance if I use the word “leverage” or “synergy” in a meeting. I have always found jargon fascinating, in that using jargon tends to shut people out – to create exclusive clubs. I prefer inclusive modes of working and I believe that in general it’s worth the time to explain yourself in plain language rather than using jargon.

So anyway, when I first heard this term “Web 2.0” I thought “what a load of crap.” But then when I read the article and heard a few presentations and started to talk to people about it, the term clicked. And it has clicked with enough people that it’s become a useful way to talk about a set of topics in one breath. I still think it’s a bit silly and when I use it, I do so with a dash of irony, but I do use it.

Aside from “Web 2.0” people have not started adding 2.0 to anything to make a point that that thing has evolved into something different. In some ways, 2.0 has taken the place of “Extreme!” especially in tech circles.

But what’s next? Calling the evolution of X “X 2.0” is a meme that has nearly played itself out. I say “nearly,” because I’m obviously trying to ride the wave of this meme with the mobile2.0 event. But when 2.0 jumps the shark, what’s next?

What’s “2.0” 2.0?

All I can say that I hope it’s not 3.0. That would be extremely silly and disappointing.

Unfortunately, I already see people jumping on the “Web 3.0” bandwagon. I don’t think we have enough of “Web 2.0” under our belts yet to imagine “what comes next.” The Web took about 10 years to mature as a medium and by my arbitrary measurement (when blogging became the hot topic at the U.S. Democratic national convention) we are only 2 years into “Web 2.0.” Let’s let Web 2.0 steep a little more before declaring it a done deal.

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4 Comments on “What’s 2.0 2.0?

  1. People seem so eager to leap to the next major version before they’ve got the current version working properly. In software, minor versioning is used to imply incremental updates: to fix bugs, polish functionality, and build user confidence.

    So howabout “Web 2.1”? Or “Web 2.0 Service Pack 1”.

    Those would at least suggest that we were trying to make it successful (from the user’s point of view) rather than leaping forward with more technological trickery for it’s own sake.

    (More interestingly, let’s discuss the next version of the ‘2.0 meme’? What’s the next-big-way of describing the next-big-thing? :-) )

  2. I think we have to start going with random punctuation. We already have C++, C# and the ubiquitous use of “.” (.net, .mac, etc…) How about but there’s a whole range of punctuation still open for plundering. How about & or |?

  3. Dan, you’ve just solved all the problems at once: the next big thing, the next way of saying the next big thing, and crazy punctuation – all at the same time.

    Yes, let’s get ready for…



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