Yesterday there was a meetup of web people at Hallmackenreuther café in Cologne. The topic was »Web 2.0« (among others). Now I read through the comments and I found people complaining about the spontanous informal character and the absence of something what they call »web 2.0« in the few presentations given.
Here is my take on this:
The mere fact, that 80 people come together within few days of notice, arrange for beers, beamers, laptops without formal invitation just by using a Wiki and some keywords (here, here, here and elsewhere) to me is already »Web 2.0«. The »Web 2.0 presentation« they were hoping to witness were themselves! It would have been impossible to do it that way some years ago.
But speaking of »Web 2.0« as technological term:
People use it as a meme. It’s an abstract word like »peace«. It doesn’t mean a thing – it’s a mode. A mode where technology can be a catalyst for emergence, spontaneity and openess. It does not come with the flaws of the »old school« openess where the idea that »anything goes« needed to be reinforced by expressively doing ridicolous and artsy things. That’s not needed anymore: the concept is understood. Today we have »conditional openess«: there may be a license attached or a policy you have to agree on.
We just need to admit that the web as we know it was a beta release for the last 15 years and that it has matured technology-wise. And if one day we can get rid of the browser dependency then we have reached an original design goal! I would have no problem if someone calls that »Web 2.0« just because the first major milestone was reached. It’s a big project. It makes more fun to raise the version number at every milestone! No one wants to work on a beta for the rest of his life (well, some do indeed!).