If you’ve read this blog for a while you know I’ve been on a journey to try to figure out social networking and through extension Web 2.0. I’ve read Wikinomics, Blink, The Wisdom of Crowds, Linked, and The Long Tail. It would be pretty easy to see how I might get exhausted by the topic of social networking. However, my buddy Brad Jones started talking about the project, I was intrigued. We have regularly scheduled lunches and we were talking about how some terms in the computer industry don’t really have a firm definition. One of those was Web 2.0. He decided to embark on a project to interview 20 of the leaders of the Internet and ask them what they thought Web 2.0 meant.
Before I started reading his book, Web 2.0 Heroes: Interviews with 20 Web 2.0 Influencers I had about as much chance of defining Web 2.0 as launching myself to the moon with Mentos and Diet Coke. At the end, I don’t know that I can truly crystallize it into one answer – however, I can share common themes:
- Enabling People to do things easily.
- Interactive two-way and multi-way conversations
- The intersection of people, process, and technology
I know as formal definitions go it’s not the best, but I can say that I feel like I can defensibly talk about Web 2.0 and have some valid opinions to back mine up. (It’s been said that best practices in the computer industry are just having someone that you trust saying that’s the way they do it too – so why can’t I use a similar definition for terms?)
The book isn’t going to make the New York Times Best Seller list – but it may help you build – and defend – your own definition of what Web 2.0 is.
Now if we can just get a similar thing on SOA, RIA, etc. we might be able to understand each other. In the mean time get started with Web 2.0 Heroes.