Wednesday, May 31, 2006


As I mentioned before, I'm still not so sure about all of the things that get the Web 2.0 tag applied to them. Is it a technology (seems not)? Is it an architecture (seems not)? But maybe it is a name for a transition that occurred a few years back in the way we use and interact with the WWW. From what I've seen and heard so far, it just seems to be a name for another era in our ongoing evolution of the Web. And as far as that goes, I'm happy to use a tag.

However, as reported, Orielly has decided to trademark Web 2.0. Since it would appear he invented the term, there's nothing wrong with him wanting to protect it. Unfortunately I think they're a little late off the mark on this one. If you believe everything that's been written (and I have no reason to not do so), then the name came up in 2004. Since then it has taken off like wildfire in many circles (I've been reviewing papers for a number of conferences and workshops over the past 2 months and the term has come up on several occasions). It would seem to me that the cat's out of the bag on this one and it's far too late to come along and put a trademark on it. Alright, maybe this was always the intention but it's just taken a little longer than expected. But I'd still say it's too late. But then I'm no lawyer and I'm sure this will go in their favour. (Side note: it's a good job that another Tim didn't trademark the Web.)

So going back to what I said at the start of this entry: I think having some classification for this point in time of the Web's evolution is a good thing. If we can't use Web 2.0 for fear of getting Cease-and-Desist orders, then I propose we coin another term. The best one I've come up with so far is Web-NG, which I freely give to the world ;-) No fear that I'm going to retract that and try and trademark it. If anyone can think of a better name, then let me know. The name is secondary: the fact that it's free for use for all time is the most important thing.

1 comment:

Jordan said...

It's a bit late, but I should point out that a colleague of mine came up with this as a tongue-in-cheek dig at Web 2.0 at roughly the same time as you; as in, "Oh, that fading highlight is so WebNG! *snerk*" We've since been using it as a delicious tag to the same effect. :)