New Views of Web 2.0

If you are responsible for marketing, either as an agency, a business manager or a consultant, you have probably rejected such terms as "Web 2.0" and "portal," in a quest for terms with more meaning. I have, and I owe a recent speaking experience a debt of gratitude in reshaping my opinion. What I discovered was a much better purpose for these well-recognized terms. That is, to expand the discussion about the underlying trends to which they refer.

The speaking event I mention is Omicron's monthly half-day interchange www.omicron-usa.com . Members are directors of the IT function for fortune 500 companies, coming together in a round table discussion on critical business issues. The organization emphasizes the imperative for IT leadership. Tellabs, Underwriters Laboratories and True Value, among others, were in attendance for the interactive workshop, and for my presentation.
The discussion lead in surprising new directions, leading me to a new definition of web 2.0. Why a new definition for an embattled and overused expression? Because web 2.0 is a common but still very useful term referring to a complex set of dynamics facing IT professionals as much a marketing professions, and the driving context for consumers and business users of the Internet. Rather than obsess over semantics, I expanded my definition in the spirit of broadening the discussion. My intent is to better enable the innovation of web 2.0  applications, an environment where we are all just beginning to come of age. Here's where I  came out. Any one or several can apply at once. I'm sure more editing will be needed as I work the ideas in the real world.
The experiential definition of Web 2.0 [lofty, pithy and very cerebral]:
  • Web 2.0 is user-generated content: it's the power of people, using words, video, and photos to create, add, review, control, kill, live, evolve and share the story. It's Community.
The discussion-broadening definition of Web .20 [much more a guideline for inventing new ways to work]
  • Web 2.0 is the intersection of two or more platforms, from social media, to distributed work and collaboration applications, to portals, to mash-ups.
  • Web 2.0 links platforms and users to create greater value than each individual part.
  • Web 2.0 is both users and systems, both of which dynamically generate content and functional value.
  • Web 2.0 is a technique for designing, testing and improving web platforms to better serve user communities.
  • Web 2.0 is a dialog about the evolution of IT platforms that enable new levels of social interaction.