I briefly created this picture above as a means of stating that the same propaganda that Tim O’Rielly is marching around conferences with is almost on the same terms as Senator Ted Steven’s Internet is a series of tubes gibberish.
From the words of the great Web guru, “Web 2.0 is about controlling data.”
No, it isn’t. If understanding and embracing Web 2.0 attitudes came down the optimizing the infrastructure of storing, transmitting and displaying data; then companies like Omniture, AOL Transit Data Network, Akamai, and of course — big brother himself, Google are all “masters” of Web 2.0. These companies are phenomenal at transmitting and caching data but I disagree that they are masters of Web 2.0.
First, before you can understand what “Web 2.0” is, you must understand what Web 1.0 was. In all honesty, a lot of these conferences do a poor job of looking back and like to hype up the monetization factor of the Web. Traditionally, consumers would access a Web site where content providers gave it to them. Users had very little in choice, they just got what they received. This also when Dial-Up was at it’s peak or breaking point.
Well, you can call Web 1.5 the “Syndication” era. Providers understood that users wanted variety. Yahoo was one of the first providers to really embrace these challenges, letting users customize their “My Yahoo” service to aggregate news from a user’s choice of providers. Whether you call this “controlling data,” may vary on your interpretation — but it actually focuses on listening and adapting to your users needs.
Listening to your users needs is probably the key to Web 2.0 success. I mean, if a Web 2.0 startup doesn’t listen to their users, how will they get off the ground? MySpace is the exception to the rule. They grew excessively large to the point of allowing spammers to exploit their network. Look at Flickr, Digg, Google Maps, MapQuest: They understand the bottom line with customers, they are ultimately the one that is in control.
Web 2.0 is not about controlling data, it is about handling it responsibly, and enabling users to control the data, not you. I rest my case.
What do you think?