Posted by: sarahmeyers | August 30, 2007

What Makes Us Web 2.0?

This evening I am attending a meet up for podcasters in New York City. The topic of conversation is what makes a company a 2.0 company. The discussion described web 2.0 companies as companies that enable procreation and decentralization.

Decentralization is something we see on Myspace where the users may distribute, edit with administrative powers and use functions over a less concentrated area. Personalization is a key function to a web 2.0 company such as Flickr where everyone can make their experience as focused or broad as they want it and make their own identity however they want to be seen.

I looked on Wikipedia to see what others have said about decentralization. It’s a political theory that Karl Marx observed where in the past decentralization was seen in economics from feudalism to capitalism. It focused less on the power of a central figure, like in a monarchy, and more on the flexible systems of control in the market place.

An example of the term decentralization has been used in the past for campaign building. Howard Dean’s  grassroots presidential campaign approach used decentralization as a key component to the parties approach and changed politics forever.

Procreation is the other thing that makes a company a web 2.0 company. Procreation is seen in You Tube where anyone can create a video and upload it for everyone else to see and then create content around it. They can procreate by creating a video response or by commenting on the video.

I am excited to be part of web 2.0 and am mostly interested in how all the web 2.0 companies are going to work together. I look forward to seeing new partnerships in this space.


Responses

  1. I can remember the internet in its cradle and honestly, I cannot say the idea of networking was vey different to what we have today. The only thing that has changed is the technology that we can use. I think WEB 2.0 is a bit artficial term, created to describe that change. I don’t think it indicates the direction or different approach.

    Decentralization? I think it really is the other way round. I can remember in the “older internet” times there were web sites. Everybody had or wanted to have a web site. Today they’ve got blogs that have the same role to play as former personal web sites. So instead of thousands of web sites, now, there are few that offer personal blogging features. I call it centralization. Do not forget, Flickr of YouTube offer space for you but you don’t own that space (unlike your personal web site). So it is kind of return to “feudal” attitude.

    I agree with, what they called, procreation, though. Again, it was already there, we’ve had it from the beginning. But now it just got much easier, and therefore much more accesible.

    Sarah, you used a nice word – partnerships, which I would translate for myself as sharing. I think this is crucial in global networking. I recall this is what dragged all of us to the internet – a space we all can share. It is still the most fascinating thing for me and I hope the internet (whether web 2.0 or web 10.0) will never lose it.

    Regards.

  2. I hope the Internet is not censored and that we can bring what is so great about 2.0 into 10.0 (if we ever get that far). I like your word for web 2.0, centralization, because you can argue for both points.


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