Not so long ago, calling something “Web 2.0? increased its value. It meant fresh, new, interactive, responsive. Now, if someone uses that term you know they’re woefully out of touch.
For me, it’s been a trip to re-adopt my former web beat on GigaOM after spending a few years writing for our sister siteNewTeeVee. I made the leap to the world of web video in the fall of 2006, when YouTube had just beenbought, Facebook hadjust opened to the general public, and only a few people cared about a little service calledTwittr.
Since then, one thing that’s gone by the wayside is the term “Web 2.0,” which got its start as a marketing phrase to build a conference around, and spawned both a new class of companies and sites dedicated to writing about them, such as TechCrunch and Mashable. TechCrunch, whose original tagline was “tracking Web 2.0,”itself declared the death of the term in February 2009, citing a perceived drop in the number of pitches mentioning it. Indeed, while the AJAX-y web services and user-generated content at the core of Web 2.0 haven’t gone anywhere, now the preferred term seems to be “social media.”Google Trendssays that search volume for “social media” surpassed “Web 2.0? right in the middle of January this year, though the new hotness has yet to reach the heights of “Web 2.0? circa 2007.
Feel free to chalk it up to a matter of trendy semantics, but here are the material differences I see between these two mini-eras: