Nowadays, Web 2.0 is a buzzword. Silicon Valley is steaming up again with excitement and a new breed of start-ups. While people are still trying to define what Web 2.0 means exactly, the word is often associated with Technorati, del.icio.us, and Flickr.
Yet, the Web is evolving quickly beyond the early pioneers into The Next Net phenomenon. The featured article by the latest Business 2.0 “The Next Net 25” defines Web 2.0 in the following five categories:
- Social Media that allows everyone to create content on the Web including articles, music, and video
- Mashups and Filters that mix, match and filter the information on the Web
- Internet Phones that make phone calls affordable anywhere around the world
- The Webtop Applications that make use of ubiquitous broadband connection
- Web-based Software Platforms and Tools that make The Next Net possible
Most of these things are already happening around us. For example, I am a heavy user of Gather – the social networking and blogging site that mirrors MySpace for teenagers. The Job search sites Indeed and SimplyHired look really cool to me. I have used Skype to call my family in China for free since long ago. Having seen the demo of Zimbra, I am very much convinced we are coming to an age that the webtop makes more sense than the desktop.
However, the biggest question is still the business model. Most of these sites are not making money at this time, hoping to flip to the big guys such as Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Amazon, and eBay. But, was that what people were hoping for only “a bubble ago?”