Web 2.0 is dead — long live the Web

My friend and fellow mesh organizer — and all-around smart guy — Stuart MacDonald has a great blog post up today on the end of Web 2.0. But don’t get depressed, all you fans of blogs and podcasts and wikis and social media. All Stuart means is that Web 2.0 as a hot new concept (albeit one that tends to be poorly defined) is over, and what we’re seeing is the start of Web 2.0 as something that can really mean something to the general populace.

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In other words, instead of just being something cool that goes “ping,” all the things that we associate with Web 2.0 are becoming part of how people use the Web, whether they realize it or not. People are reading and commenting on blogs and using social media and those kinds of tools without knowing that they are doing something Web 2.0 — and that’s a good thing. That’s why mesh is called Canada’s Web conference, and not Canada’s Web 2.0 conference (no, it’s not because O’Reilly sent us a C&D letter).

Remember when every company sent out press releases to say that they had a website? Those days are gone (thankfully), and now the Internet is something millions of people use without ever really thinking about it. And it’s no wonder that Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the guy we have to thank for the Web, got a little testy in an interview awhile back when asked about Web 2.0. There is no Web 2.0, he said — there’s just the evolution of the Web. All that interactivity (and more) is something he envisioned in the first place. It’s just taken us awhile to get there.

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