Jeffrey Zeldman just wrote a fantastic piece on this “web 2.0” stuff over at A List Apart.
Many people have tried to define “web 2.0” as social networking, or technology-infused user experiences, or whatever, but to me, “web 2.0” is this:
While the dotcommers were making really cool stuff in the late 90s, younger people like me (middle school, high school) were idolizing them and aspiring to run dotcom companies once we got a bit older. Now that we are older (19-25 or so), and have witnessed the demise of the dotcom era, we’ve vowed to make even better dotcom companies that kick way more ass than our idols ever kicked.
Basically, my generation saw what happened, learned from it, and is now having a crack at it. We’ve collectively come up with some really cool stuff (Ruby on Rails, popularizing AJAX, etc.) and are trying to one-up the dotcom companies from the late 90s in many ways — in business planning, customer communication, interface design, technology implementation, and many others. Web 2.0 could be considered the collective “me too” spoken by young people who were too young to participate in the dotcom boom of the 1990s, and are now ready to take on the world in the 2000s.
That’s my definition, what do you guys think?