The Web 2.0 Craze Sounds a Bit Like, Well, the Web 1.0 Craze

A critical look back at the hype surrounding Web 2.0 and how it compares to the dotcom boom.

Web 2.0 frenzy is producing startups like rabbits; it’s persuaded the venture capitalists to open their wallets again, and it’s even spawned its own hot-ticket conferences. But Web 2.0 is nothing like Web 1.0. Is it? Let’s compare . . . .

Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0

There's something familiar going on here

A studied contrast.

WEB 1.0 WEB 2.0
Annoying, self-promotional CEOs drop out of college to pursue dreams of dotcom wealth. Same CEOs, now seven years older, drop out of Web 1.0 businesses.
A friend is someone who’ll gladly help you out in a bind. A friend is someone who has spent at least 30 seconds on your MySpace page.

Approach to naming companies:

Add a “.com” to everyday words (Furniture.com, Pets.com,

ReupholsterFurniture-

DestroyedbyYourPets.com).
Approach to naming companies: Add an “er” suffix, ruthlessly extract vowels, or both (Revver, Twitter, Eurekster, Flickr, Zoomr, VwlRplcr).
KM software attempts (unsuccessfully) to get employees to share information and learning with one another. Corporate wikis attempt (hilariously) to get employees to share information and learning with one another.
Narcissistic execs track how many hits their latest memo gets on the corporate intranet. Narcissistic execs track how many downloads their podcasts get.
Cross-platform miracle code that crashes browsers is called Java. Cross-platform miracle code that crashes browsers is called Ajax.
Wall Street analysts inflate insubstantial companies with hype and hot air. A-list bloggers inflate insubstantial companies with hype and hot air.
Big Media’s nemesis: MP3-sharing site Napster. Big Media’s nemesis: Video-sharing site YouTube.
There is only one browser: Netscape. There are many browsers, but most sites are viewable in only one of them—inevitably, not the one you’re using.
Enhancing your reputation involves being nice to people, accomplishing things, contributing to charity. Enhancing your reputation involves editing your entry in Wikipedia.
Acronym the cognoscenti deploy to show they’re in the know: DHTML. Acronym the cognoscenti deploy to show they’re in the know: RSS.
Venture capitalists finance startups that hope to earn money from advertising. Entrepreneurs spurn venture capital financing and hope to earn money from advertising.
Big scary company: Microsoft. Big scary company: Google.
Marketing swag: free messenger bag. Marketing swag: free software widget.
Fire sale on Herman Miller Aeron chairs when companies go out of business. Mom and Dad get their guest bedroom back when companies go out of business.
Related:

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

Discover what your peers are reading. Sign up for our FREE email newsletters today!