R.I.P. Web 2.o?

I have read an article recently about how the Web 2.0, typically identified as the web technology with user provided content, is dead. They cited the slower growth for biggest sites, like Facebook and Myspace, as the main reason for their logic. I am not sure if that is the case. I believe we are at a point in history that is a game changing moment. Web 2.0, I believe, is a revolution that will change the way we think in the future.

First, let’s review the history for a minute. I read somewhere that a healthy country goes through a revolution every 25-50 years. If you look at the US history, it all started with the revolutionary war in the 1700s. The next was the height of the industrial revolution during the 1830s to 1840s. After that was the civil war during the 1860s.  The WWI started around 1914. Then it was WW2 during the 1940s. The Korean War was during the 1950s. The Vietnam War during the 1960s through 1970s.

Then the non-combative revolutions started. It all started with personal computers. During the 1980s, the affordable home computer choices gave consumers power that was not available before. This was the start of the technology revolutions. There were many smaller revolutions since then but the major ones we have seen until now are: microprocessors, desktop publishing, modems, the Internet and the web. Each of these technologies allocated users with more power to increase their productivity. Now, I believe the Web 2.0 is the latest technology revolution.

One thing about a revolution is that it tend to stick around until something better comes around. However, the hardest thing is to predict when the revolution is over and something better will replace it. There are so many examples in the past where the new technology has replaced the older technology to near extinct. Take a look at semiconductor versus vacuum tubes or Ford’s assembly line versus hand made automobiles. While new technologies take over, nothing is completely dead even after the defeat. There are many companies still manufacturing vacuum tubes and hand made cars, like Rolls Royce. The bottom line is with each revolution, it becomes the standard for the masses. However, most of the revolution is for the young, because they are the ones who are more open to something new. They are the ones who want to change the world.

So, is the Web 2.0 a fad or a revolution? I believe it’s the latter. If you look at the teenagers and twenty-somethings, it’s all they know. They grew up with the technology and they will stick to what they know. For my generation, it was Fax, Pager, DOS and text based Bulletin Board Services (BBS) using 1200 baud modems. I have moved on the the later technology but I am never completely comfortable with something brand new. It took me some time to get used to it. So, for the current generation, they are comfortable with Google, Flickr, Facebook, Myspace and Twitter and that’s what they will use for a while. If you look at the history, it took a few years for my generation to migrate to Facebook, which is eternity for the Internet. So, until something comes and completely change the game, the current generation will continue to use the Web 2.0 technology, probably for the rest of their lives or move over slowly. I mean, there are still BBSs still in existence.

There is another angle to this as well. The largest number of demographics is the current generation, other than the baby boomers. The sheer number of the generation will keep it going, even if something newer comes around.

On January 12, 2009, posted in: Uncategorized by
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