From A List Apart comes this great take on Web 2.0:
"What, if anything, does 'Web 2.0 mean?' What is the good thing that the hype risks obscuring?
"Well, there are several good things, it seems to me.
small teams of sharp peoplepeople who once, perhaps, worked for those
with dimmer visionsare now following their own muses and designingsmart web applications. Products like Flickr and Basecamp are fun and well-made and easy to use.
may not sound like much. But ours is a medium in which, more often than
not, big teams have slowly and expensively labored to produce overly
complex web applications whose usability was near nil on behalf of
clients with at best vague goals. The realization that small,
self-directed teams powered by Paretos Principle
can quickly create sleeker stuff that works better is not merely
bracing but dynamic. As 100 garage bands sprang from every Velvet
Underground record sold, so the realization that one small team canmake good prompts 100 others to try.
"The best and most
famous of these new web products (i.e. the two I just mentioned) foster
community and collaboration, offering new or improved modes of personal
and business interaction. By virtue of their virtues, they own theircategories, which is good for the creators, because they get paid.
is also good for our industry, because the prospect of wealth inspires
smart developers who once passively took orders to start thinking about
usability and design, and to try to solve problems in a niche they can
own. In so doing, some of them may create jobs and wealth. And even
where the payday is smaller, these developers can raise the design and
usability bar. This is good for everyone. If consumers can choose
better applications that cost less or are free, then the web works
better, and clients are more likely to request good (usable,well-designed) work instead of the usual schlock."
First, props for the Velvet Underground reference. Second, we could
all do with a bit more small, streamlined teams and less bulky,
over-managed uber-projects in our organizations. In most cases it won't
happen because that would mean management would need to give more trustand take less credit, but it's fun to dream sometimes.
Back to the salt mines.