Web as Platform

Tim O’Reilly is returning to the definition he started with: Web 2.0 is the Web as Platform. This is the definition that got me interested in Web 2.0 in the first place. It makes sense, easily contrasts with “desktop as platform”, and is accurate: we are seeing a tremendous platform move to the Web. Unfortunately, […]

Tim O’Reilly is returning to the definition he started with: Web 2.0 is the Web as Platform.

This is the definition that got me interested in Web 2.0 in the first place. It makes sense, easily contrasts with “desktop as platform”, and is accurate: we are seeing a tremendous platform move to the Web.

Unfortunately, sometime after Tim used this definition way back when, it went haywire and eventually ended up meaning nothing more than the Web itself. And really, that’s all it is…just a trend on the Web. In addition, O’Reilly went the VC route, focusing on business people while alienating technologists.

I don’t harbor negativity for someone who has a meme that helps people understand what’s going on. Ajax, web standards, SAAS, P2P, and other things are all figments of the imagination…they’re just other words for technologies that do certain things. And holding events is fine, too. People make the choice to come, let them come. Everybody has a flag to fly.

So, I applaud Tim returning to the original definition, after all this time. Don’t try to be everything to everyone.

However…it’s still not nearly as compact as it *could* be, and it’s not really a business revolution…it’s a technological trend.

In addition to “leveraging” this or that, how about focusing on building stuff that people love? Could that be part of all this? Or does it have to be about “network effects applied to user contribution”?

My guess is that if you focused on one and not the other, you’ll be much more successful than vice-versa.

Published: December 11th, 2006

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