Web 2.0 was less about specific technologies or cultural shifts empowering users of the interwebs than it was simply the reaction to the bursting of the dot-com economic bubble.
The current economic crisis will be marked as the start of a new cycle in Internet innovation that might be named Web 3.0.
When dot-coms first shuttered their doors and VC cash dried up, web startups were forced to work differently.
The only people left to start new companies were once again those who were most skilled and passionate about their craft. They had few resources. Development had to be focused on simple functionality. Marketing had to be by word of mouth.
After the excesses of dot-com advertising, it’s little wonder that the most successful startups of this renaissance often focused that simple functionality itself to spread something. The function is the marketing, enabling web-amplified amplified word of mouth. The result is a more human Internet.
In a sense, it’s silly to call that Web 2.0, since the original vision of the web and how we would use it was always centered on individual contributions more than on publishing empires and corporate advertising. The ebb and flow between these “opposing” forces is cyclical, though some folks “get it” regardless (and manage to market large companies on the Internet in a more human way).
Anyway, it’s happening again. The result will be another renaissance of creativity, advancement and prosperity. Whatever the label. Rejoice.