Monday, September 19, 2005

The thing about Web 2.0

Tim Bray came out a while ago now and said how much he dislikes the Web 2.0 meme. This got a robust response from none other than Tim O'Reilly, and a followup article in reply from Tim Bray.

Just before the weekend Tim O'Reilly posted a link to a podcast of an interview between himself and John Battelle about Web 2.0 as part of the lead up to the O'Reilly 2nd annual Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco this October.

For many people the "Web 2.0" phenomenon first became really obvious with the introduction of Google Maps, which meant that for a lot of people it became synonymous with location based data. To a Web 2.0 proponent this is obviously nonsense, and to a real GIS person like my wife it's sheer heresy.

However at least for me, Web 2.0 will take a while to shake off that image, even with rumours of a Google OS on the horizon. I don't think I'm alone here, as despite the growing number of publically available web service APIs most of the interesting mash-ups I've seen recently centre around Google Maps and Google Earth, although there are exceptions.

Of course no matter what happens, I doubt many people believe that Microsoft can control the direction of Web 2.0, apart from Microsoft themselves of course. For many, the map has become the interface...