Web 2.0

I don’t know if many of you have been following the whole “Web 2.0” thing, but it’s really starting to irritate me.

Web 2.0 is a catch-phrase that represents the general (predicted and planned) move towards social, user-driven, and services-oriented websites. It includes a general approach to software (AJAX) and information (collaboration).

It means people working together to provide better, more personalised services… or at least that’s how they want to market it. At a more fundamental level, Web 2.0 is this realisation from media companies:

  • “We can make money off of others, and we don’t even have to pay them for it!”.

It promotes website scraping and RSS abuse for meta-reviews with long referral chains. How many people will bother to visit the original source of an article? It promotes users contributing to resources that they neither own nor (ultimately) control. What recourse do myspace adolescents have if Murdoch decides to delete their brooding poems?

Rather than turn this post into a long rant, I’ll end with an excerpt from Paul Graham’s write-up on Web 2.0.

And yet, oddly enough, Ryan Singel’s article about the conference in Wired News spoke of “throngs of geeks.” When a friend of mine asked Ryan about this, it was news to him. He said he’d originally written something like “throngs of VCs and biz dev guys” but had later shortened it just to “throngs,” and that this must have in turn been expanded by the editors into “throngs of geeks.” After all, a Web 2.0 conference would presumably be full of geeks, right?

Update: I’d be much happier about Web 2.0 if the “Don’t maltreat users” mantra also included a “Don’t reserve the right to maltreat users” clause. Otherwise it reads like a warning of the “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” variety.