Friday, August 24, 2007

More Examples of the "Next Generation?"

MapQuest -> Google Maps
communities -> social networks
postal address -> geocode
network backbone -> data and services backbone
website hosting -> web services hosting

3rd Generation Web
personal web sites -> blogging -> personal publishing

Tim O'Reilly's 2005 report "What is Web 2.0? Design Patterns and Business Models for Next Generation Software" introduced me to the subject of Web 2.0 (almost a year after it was written). In this article he showed the results of a brainstorming session where members of O'Reilly Media and MediaLive International paired examples of (then) current generation with the next generation.

I think there are a few flaws in the logic that extends from the original list of pairs. For example, Google ending up buying DoubleClick in April of this year for $1.3B U.S. DoubleClick was obviously alive and kicking and the transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 was not the result of any generational (read paradigm) shift, but rather one hell of a business deal. And I'm not sure declaring evite "out" and upcoming "in" is either right or fair. Evite has a great brand and they do a good job of promoting and coordinating an event. They could easily choose to open up their data and services and compete on other portal features like localized listings (that's what you get when you make everyone's data public). And guests still like getting a nice invitation. It's just not paper. MapQuest, on the other hand clearly doesn't get want users want from a map services. Usability is poor and it looks more like they are in the business of promoting offers. Meanwhile Google invested in mapping, invigorating it into the mainstream and always innovating into ever more seamless application of their service.

As a matter of reference I have copied the original list of pairs here:

In our initial brainstorming, we formulated our sense of Web 2.0 by example:

Web 1.0
Web 2.0
DoubleClick --> Google AdSense
Ofoto --> Flickr
Akamai --> BitTorrent --> Napster
Britannica Online --> Wikipedia
personal websites --> blogging
evite --> and EVDB
domain name speculation --> search engine optimization
page views --> cost per click
screen scraping --> web services
publishing --> participation
content management systems --> wikis
directories (taxonomy) --> tagging ("folksonomy")
stickiness --> syndication
End Quote

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