« barbarism | Main | Why social/networking sites will never really work »

December 02, 2005

I invented Web 2.0 - Really, truly

OK, the title is a little tongue in cheek, but the following is all true.

In the dark days of early 2004, when many of us felt that innovation on the web was in big trouble due to the almost complete dominance of a particular, increasingly long in the tooth browser (Firefox had far from become the success it is today, and I, as well as many others didn't hold out a lot of hope for that happening, as good as the browser was) I wrote an email to a number of people I had known, or knew of, in the web standards arena, some whom I had been involved with at WASP for some years, others whom I knew from their more recent work.

I won't name any names, but many of them you would know very well from their writing, books, presentations and work.

It was sent on the 29th of May 2004 (Sydney time, so the 228th in much of the world :-)

My aim was to help build a "brand" (like the term Ajax is a brand for an existing set of technologies) for the standards based web. Something a little "sexier" than the "standards based web". Something that made developing for a specific browser look "old hat", old fashioned, which made standards based development the thing to do.

The ideal situation for web development would be "write once, run everywhere".
Web standards promise this for the web.

The combination of xhtml, Javascript/ECMAScript, the W3C DOM, CSS, the PNG graphic format and looking down the track a little SVG provides an almost unbelievably rich set of complimentary technologies that when supported in all contemporary browsers will if nothing else make web development easier and less expensive, allowing developers to concentrate their energies on solutions, not the problems thrown up by browser incompatibility, and take us a significant step closer to the world wide web.

This seeming nirvana is actually in sight.
Let's call it "the Web2.0 or some such "brand" that captures the spirit of a standards based web and which browser developers, tool developers, web developers and web user can all "buy into"

What is Web2.0?

It's a web built on top of the W3C and other recommendations and standards
Developers could think of it as a standardized set of APIs for the web.

  1. xhtml 1.0
  2. CSS 2.1
  3. W3C DOM (which version?)
  4. ECMAScript (1.what?)
  5. PNG
  6. JPEG
  7. SVG


Morphic resonance or what?

OK, so this is not the Web 2.0 as we think of it today. It focusses mostly on technology, and on the front end, whereas the ideas floating around about web2.0 take in philosophies, business models, user experience design, and backend technologies. But a lot of it is there - the idea of the web as a standardized platform, reinforcing its openness and interoperability.

So why am I publishing this now?

Well, I just kick myself that I didn't over 18 months ago (before the folks at O'Rielly talk about coining the term). Usually, I'm not averse to shooting my mouth off in public. Just this once I shopped the idea round privately, as something WaSP might use to get some public attention.

Anyway, the term was far from non obvious, the internet/web oriented business magazine, Business 2.0 had been round for years, so Web2.0 was a bit of a no brainer really. In fact I think the email suggests I wasn't sure it was a great term at the time.

I'm sure most off us have had an idea we then put on the back burner, only to see someone else also have the idea, take it and run with it. More power to them.

The moral of the story? There aint one really, just thought I'd let you know.

john

tags Web 2.0

December 2, 2005 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341cbf7d53ef00e55021084a8833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference I invented Web 2.0 - Really, truly:

Comments

I was wondering who I needed to blame for that ridiculous, mostly undefined buzzword and when I read the title, I thought I'd finally found the culprit. Oh, well, it's not quite the "web 2.0" buzzword being widely and innappropriately used everywhere, but I'll add your definition to the increasingly long list of other possible definitions.

Posted by: Lachlan Hunt | Dec 2, 2005 3:35:50 PM

If I were you, I wouldn't be kicking myself ... just be happy in the knowledge that you invented the term, but even happier that you didn't throw it to the world where it has slithered into the dark evil soup of buzz words and onto the snake-like tongues of executives to be used like a lubricant to push out their wares.

But for the rest of us who actually have some understanding of what it represents (even if to us it's just a jar with some unquantified amphorous entity inside, hence we label the jar rather than the contents)it's a pretty cool term :)

Posted by: Nathanael | Dec 3, 2005 10:25:34 PM

i want to know who has invented JavaScript,

can u reply me please

Posted by: vijay | Feb 27, 2006 8:46:59 PM

Hello John,
is it true that Yahoo! invented the name Web 2.0?
Thanks.
Niko

Posted by: Nicolò | Aug 20, 2006 7:46:40 PM

lol that's cool... you should definitely run for president and then make a movie on global warming ;-P

Posted by: Utah Web Designer | Sep 11, 2009 2:18:03 AM

Web 2.0 is a coined term from Dale Dougherty during a meeting between O'Reilly and Associates (a computer book publisher) and MediaLive International (an event organiser) as a marketable term for a series of conferences.

Posted by: faxless payday loans | Sep 12, 2009 6:16:52 AM

Do you know what? In the early days of Web 2.0 I mistook it for exactly what you describe above.

To me, it was about an evolution of the way we built software on the web. An evolution that embraced the fundamentals of the medium that had got lost in the preceding rush of learning and pushing boundaries.

Rich and semantic HTML; seperation of content and presentation; the early days of Microformats; the network effect of open data, open standards and web service APIs. It was about the architecture of web software and the inherent power contained with in it.

Turned out I was wrong, and it was all about social networks, rounded corners and gradients. Most disappointing. ;)

So your Web 2.0 will always be my Web 2.0.

Posted by: Andy Hume | Nov 5, 2009 11:41:32 AM

For a brief period of time I was practicing coding XHTML 2.0 despite a lack of a rendering agent. Given that XHTML 2.0 is now dead and gone, maybe Web 5.0 would be appropriate. Web 2.0 sounds like back to the future with XHTML 2.0 given that HTML5 is the new dog in town.

Posted by: Dana Lee Ling | Nov 11, 2009 3:07:44 PM

Indeed, I think we have outgrown the term 'web 2.0' for what is happening. HTML 5 as mentioned will be changing things even more. It is interesting to see how quickly social media has expanded the Web and our general culture though in the last year.

Posted by: Compare Web Hosting | Nov 20, 2009 8:48:54 AM

Hm, so I guess now it is more like Web 2.5?

Posted by: personal web hosting | Dec 12, 2009 6:52:55 AM

Hey John ! Nice topic. Web 2.0 is a collection of approaches, which involves converging the users and information at a rapid pace. The tools used in web 2.0 help you to collaborate, distribute and market the information.

Posted by: web development company | Feb 6, 2010 5:00:06 PM

Thanks...... The coupon did work but I was worried it might not. I have been given trouble over coupons before.

Posted by: teeth whitening | Apr 29, 2010 1:10:27 AM

Hallo,
Ich haben eben Eure Internetseite besucht und nutzen sogleich die Gelegenheit,euch auch einen Gruß aus Deutschland in Eurem Gästebuch zu hinterlassen. P.S. Kommt uns doch auch mal besuchen
http://www.MeerblickSylt.de
http://www.OstseeblickHolm.de

Posted by: Volker | Jun 3, 2010 6:33:55 AM

Rich and semantic HTML; seperation of content and presentation; the early days of Microformats; the network effect of open data, open standards and web service APIs. It was about the architecture of web software and the inherent power contained with in it.

Posted by: Cheap Nfl Jerseys | Aug 20, 2010 1:12:19 PM

Your explanation was undoubtedly the simplest to understand. I tell you, I usually get irritable when individuals discuss issues that these people obviously do not know about. You managed to strike the nail on the head and explained every thing with out complication. Perhaps, others can learn from this. Will more than likely be back to learn more. Cheers!

Posted by: hostgator coupon code | Sep 28, 2010 3:47:54 AM

Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

Posted by: ALAMIN | Oct 14, 2010 11:03:47 PM

nice sharing. I love following you.

Posted by: online degree | Dec 2, 2010 11:47:40 PM

I usually get irritable when individuals discuss issues that these people obviously do not know about. You managed to strike the nail on the head and explained every thing with out complication. Perhaps, others can learn from this. Will more than likely be back to learn more. Cheers!

Posted by: Personalized football jerseys | Jan 20, 2011 6:15:20 PM

Tolle Homepage und genialer Aufbau, gefällt mir sehr gut!!
Vielleicht schauen sie mal auf meiner Homepage vorbei!
Schöne Grüße aus Bayern

Posted by: Dieter P. | Feb 27, 2011 3:20:16 AM

You are right regarding inviting for the web 2.0.

Posted by: muslim matrimonials | Mar 29, 2011 6:40:32 PM

Many guys work hard to insure that we have better internet experience. Social media, cloud programs and all the other many works are well appreciated.

Posted by: young drivers insurance | May 11, 2011 7:11:39 AM

The University’s matchless resources - human, physical, financial - demand that we seize this moment with vision and boldness.

Posted by: cheap Nike shox | Jun 15, 2011 5:40:29 PM

Many guys work hard to insure that we have better internet experience.

Posted by: shox | Jul 9, 2011 1:40:55 AM

Do you know what? In the early days of Web 2.0 I mistook it for exactly what you describe above.

To me, it was about an evolution of the way we built software on the web. An evolution that embraced the fundamentals of the medium that had got lost in the preceding rush of learning and pushing boundaries.

Rich and semantic HTML; seperation of content and presentation; the early days of Microformats; the network effect of open data, open standards and web service APIs. It was about the architecture of web software and the inherent power contained with in it.

Turned out I was wrong, and it was all about social networks, rounded corners and gradients. Most disappointing. ;)

So your Web 2.0 will always be my Web 2.0.

Posted by: Payday Loans Ottawa | Jul 15, 2011 4:49:50 AM

add to my favorit list thanks nice site

Posted by: clk | Sep 10, 2011 7:07:03 PM