So I’ve worked in the web development business since 2003, and have been online using “the ‘net” since before “the web” was even around – and I’m sorry Al, you did not invent the internet, nor the web so please quit taking full credit for something you barely participated in.  

Anyways, in my travels and travails one term keeps popping up: Web two-point-oh.  Which is just silly to me.  As a developer, I’ve used these supposed “2.0” technologies since the get go, and as far as I’m concerned they’re just part of “the web.”  Nothing special, really.  The only reason these “2.0” tools weren’t implemented at the birth of the web was that most people at that time were on very slow dial-up and database servers were pretty darn slow – or prohibitively expensive. 

Many, if not all 2.0 features are heavily dependent upon fast, reliable internet and db transactions. It also requires a user base somewhat familiar with web-tech.  Show someone that’s never been on the web a Facebook page and you’re more likely to get a “what’s the point” answer as a “wow, that’s cool” answer.  And who hasn’t been on the web before?  Many, you might even say “Legion.”  I’m talking about senior citizens. 

As an example, my Mom has been on dial-up for over 10-years.  She never goes out “on the web.”  It’s too slow and frustrating to load, so she would login just long enough to get & respond to her emails and then log out.  So this year for Christmas me and my sister went in on a new laptop for Mom and a high-speed internet connection.  With a few e-mailed “exercises” that I sent to introduce her to “the web,” she’s now a webizen and can look things up on Google, YouTube, Amazon, etc.  Things she not only couldn’t do but wouldn’t do before due to the slow & unreliable connectivity she had with dial-up.

So what does this all have to do with “Web 2.0” vs. “The Web?”  The other day I was “phone screened” for a web development position and one of the questions asked was how well versed I was in “Web 2.0?”  For some reason I drew a blank – even though “Web 2.0” is practically the only type of development I do, to me it’s all just a part of “web development,” not some made up vague term that can mean anything from social networking, to cross-server communication, to simple form scripts. 

To me, “Web 2.0” has always had a negative “buzzword” connotation, and I’ve always avoided using the nebulous term. To me since it’s not only incredibly overused, but also ill-defined.  What exactly and succinctly, does Web 2.0 mean? Nobody seems to be able to answer this question sufficiently, in my opinion.

Hopefully I did well enough on the rest of the screening to warrant an in-person interview where I can redeem myself.  Otherwise I’m half-tempted to send off a quick note about the various techniques and solutions that I’ve used in my career that might fall under the very diffuse umbrella that calls itself “Web 2.0.”  Should I “just wait” or should I send the note with my “better” answer? That is the question…

I hope all is going well in your world and that all your endeavors bring success, Enjoy!

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