DeveloperWorks Podcast Interviews with Me

IBM DeveloperWorks just published a two-part podcast interview with me. The first part covers some of O’Reilly’s early history and how we came to define our business as “changing the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators.” It talks about our early days in documentation consulting, our activism in the commercialization of the internet, the open source summit, and the connections between my analysis of open source and my later formulation of the ideas of Web 2.0. We also talk a bit about Tim Berners-Lee’s discomfort with the term Web 2.0 (with which I agree). Here’s a slightly cleaned up excerpt from the transcript:

developerWorks: We had Tim Berners-Lee on back in August, and I asked him about a common summary explanation that floats out around there about the phrase “Web 2.0.” And actually, I wish I’d read [your article, What is Web 2.0?] before I’d asked the question. But what I said to him was, a common explanation out there is Web 1.0 was about connecting computers and making information available and Web 2.0 is more about connecting people and facilitating new kinds of collaboration.”


O’Reilly: And then Tim said, what? Are you kidding? Web 1 was totally about connecting people. It was a groupware product.

developerWorks: Right.

O’Reilly: Well, I would have given you the same answer. It’s unfortunate that a lot of people latched on to the term Web 2.0, and they’ve used it to mean, oh, it’s rich experiences with Ajax, it’s mashups. And for me, it’s a much broader concept than that…. Tim Berners-Lee is absolutely right; it is no different from Web 1.0. Web 1.0 was the first Web 2.0 technology. It was actually “Web 1.5” that went wrong, which was all these people with business models where they were trying to make it look like television. Broadcast, one to many.

Web 2.0 really is a fulfillment of Tim [Berners-Lee’s]’s original vision and the vision of all the Internet pioneers. What it really is is an understanding of what it really means to build network applications. And the only reason we put the 2.0 on it was really to indicate that it’s a new phase in the evolution of the business model….

developerWorks: So a summary thought around all of that — I mean, Web 2.0 really is about getting out of that big pothole that was the dot-com bust and continuing on down the same road that Web 1.0 was already, right?

The second part drills down a bit more into what I mean by Web 2.0 and also briefly explores the idea of what new skills Web 2.0 developers might need.