What is Web 2.0?

I took a stab at answering the question What is Web 2.0? in an essay I wrote for distribution at our Web 2.0 Conference. The essay will disappoint those who look for a hard and fast definition, because I tend to think about the gravitational core that holds a solar system of ideas and experiences together, rather than some kind of box to contain them. But hopefully, it’s a useful contribution. If I had to pick out one of the principles that I highlight as the most significant addition to my thinking on the subject, it would be this: Web 2.0 is about systems that harness collective intelligence.


There isn’t provision for comment on the article itself, so please give any feedback you might have on the article to me here. [Actually, turns out there is. You can leave comments in either place, and I’ll see and respond to them.]

P.S. Interestingly, the fact that I’m using Flickr for figures in my writing these days led to a leak of one part of the essay before the piece as a whole was published. I posted a “Web 2.0 meme map” to flickr so I could reference it from there in the article. I thought I’d get the article up before anyone noticed it, but I was surprised to see Business Week pick it up last week.