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Why Web 2.0 Matters to your Business - First Steps

Here is my first post in my new series on why “Web 2.0″ matters to your business.

I’ll start by speaking to the concept of “Web 2.0″. Note that I am making no attempt to define it because I do not believe it to have a formal definition. Most definitions used by the larger technical community make absolutely zero sense to everyday users (business and leisure alike). I know because I’ve tried to use them when explaining Web 2.0 and they just don’t work – blank stares and confused faces have been the norm.

What has worked is the following idea: Web 2.0 is not the next version of the web, nor does it represent a singular technical demarcation point like the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. Instead, it is an effort to refocus and refine the web as we know it – it’s a movement to make the web better, to make it smarter, more fun, and more efficient.

Unlike the first go around, that is, the outset of the World Wide Web (or what is now being referred to as “Web 1.0″), the primary focus of Web 2.0 is not the technology. This movement is not being propelled by a particular technology or set of technologies but there are new technologies that are helping facilitate Web 2.0 (crazy words like AJAX, RSS, tagging, and more).

The major difference between Web 2.0 and Web 1.0 is that Web 2.0 at its best is not focused on technology for technology’s sake. Rather, it is as Ross Mayfield puts it, “made of people.” I’ll make a slight modification to that:

Web 2.0 is an attempt to build the web around people instead of technology.

This new and improved interconnected relationship between people and technology is what we will examine next time, as we push towards understanding why Web 2.0 matters to your business. The series will continue on a weekly basis through the New Year.

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