Brian Gough’s Notes

occasional GNU-related news

The great irony about Web 2.0

A nice explanation by Yea-Hung Chen on the mailing list:

The remarkable thing about “Web 1.0” (and specifically the personal home page and email) is that you can link to anybody or anything you want and you can send a message to anybody you want. It doesn’t matter who is hosting your website and it doesn’t matter who your email provider is.

The same is not true for many implementations of “Web 2.0.” If you’re on Facebook but not on MySpace, and your friend’s on MySpace but not on Facebook, how do you link to him (i.e., tell people you are friends)? How do you send him a message? (Or, how do I respond to President Obama’s tweets if I’m not on Twitter? How do I join the Facebook group for my favorite political cause if I’m not on Facebook? And what are the implications when membership in a closed and private service is a prerequisite for political engagement?)

The great irony about “Web 2.0” is that it is a step back in many ways; even AOL — who, of course, controlled much of Web 1.0 — let you send email to non-AOL users.

Yea-Hung Chen on the mailing list July 2009