In 2004, Tim O’Reilly and MediaLive International launched the Web 2.0 Conference (now known as Web 2.0 Summit) with the intent to restore confidence in an industry that lost its way after the dotcom bust. (O’Reilly & Battelle: 2009) The term, Web 2.0, is closely associated with the usage and function of many web applications in the Internet. This hotly debated term has been contested among many media scholars and theorists that O’Reilly has to define Web 2.0 twice.
In one of O’Reilly’s articles, What Is Web 2.0 ~ Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software (2005), he laid out several points that serve to define what is Web 2.0 and its core competencies. In the first attempt to give a compact definition of Web 2.0, he stated that:
“Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an “architecture of participation,” and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences.” (O’Reilly: 2005)
A mouthful of words as one would argue. Interestingly, that first attempt continued to receive several comments and suggestions (to better the definition) for the next three years. The term Web 2.0 had since been a fiercely scrutinized subject by many new media and Internet experts. Notably in July 2006, during a podcast interview with IBM, World Wide Web founder – Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, expressed his doubt over the hype of Web 2.0 and fault the term for lacking coherent meaning. He went on to explain why he felt that Web 2.0 is no different from Web 1.0. Coincidentally, in December 2006, O’Reilly attempted a second compact definition of Web 2.0:
“Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them. (This is what I’ve elsewhere called “harnessing collective intelligence.”)” (O’Reilly: 2006)
Alas, he nailed it. It seemed that O’Reilly’s second definition has pretty much silenced most critics or became more widely accepted – even Sir Tim Berners-Lee who went for the final interview in the Web 2.0 Summit 2009, had to concede that Web 2.0 is a useful term that has been proven over the last five years. Taking O’Reilly definition in perceptive, I believe our media text for the final research report, STOMP, is a good example of a Web 2.0 application. It is a business revolution by Singapore Press Holding to create a platform (STOMP) based on the set of rules (characteristics of a Web 2.0 application) that exploits social networking capabilities to harness collective intelligence.
Anderson N. (2006) Tim Berners-Lee on Web 2.0: “nobody even knows what it means”, Ars technical, assessed 01 Dec 2010, available at http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2006/09/7650.ars
O’Reilly T. (2005) What is Web 2.0 – Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software, O’Reilly, assessed 30 Nov 2010, available at http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html
O’Reilly T. (2005) Web 2.0: Compact Definition, assessed 30 Nov 2010, available at http://radar.oreilly.com/2005/10/web-20-compact-definition.html
O’Reilly T. (2006) Web 2.0 Compact Definition: Trying Again, O’Reilly, assessed 30 Nov 2010, available at http://radar.oreilly.com/2006/12/web-20-compact-definition-tryi.html
O’Reilly T. and Battelle J. (2009) Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On, Web 2.0 Summit, assessed 01 Dec 2010, available at http://www.web2summit.com/web2009/public/schedule/detail/10194
Web 2.0 Summit (2009) A Conversation with Tim Berners-Lee, Web 2.0 Summit, assessed 01 Dec 2010, available at http://www.web2summit.com/web2009/public/schedule/detail/9286