There is no spoon

There has been a lot of talk lately about whether Web 2.0 really exists or not.

Richard MacManus says it’s dead and it was all hype to begin with.
Dave Winer says we’re getting fleeced.
and Russell Shaw started it all.

Web 2.0 is bunk. […] Or, as Wikipedia puts it:
“Skeptics argue that the term is essentially meaningless, or that it means whatever its proponents decide that they want it to mean in order to convince the media and investors that they are creating something fundamentally new, rather than continuing to develop and use well-established technologies.”

And then Michael Arrington called them all traitors.

These attacks come from the Web 2.0’s biggest champions, making them that much harder to bear. Dave Winer and Richard MacManus are members of the Web 2.0 Workgroup, and Richard also writes a ZDNet blog called Web 2.0 Explorer.

And frankly, he’s right. Web 2.0 may have begun as a term to market the “new” internet, but it has progressed to something much larger. Arrington calls it the

slogan of a people’s army. Our army.

The problem is this: MacManus and Winer are portraying that they never knew that Web 2.0 was a marketing slogan. I think to some extent we all knew it was, and just like the term podcast, we grabbed hold of it and ran. And now we have run so far with it and all of a sudden someone reminds us that it was a marketing slogan to begin with and now we are repulsed by the idea that we associated ourselves with it.

My answer: It was a marketing solution. It did it’s job. No harm, No foul. The other thing is that it really isn’t a new version of the web. We still access it with the same protocols and with the same equipment. Oh and by the way, I don’t call it ARPAnet anymore either. The terms Internet and World Wide Web are both terms that were used to market what we now call Web 2.0.

We are experiencing a change in the way that we put content to the web and in some ways the way that content is found and accessed. If for no other reason, we use the term Web 2.0 to identify that change. To put a placemark on a boom in self-published and social-published content. We have sites like Digg,, Riya, Flikr, and memeorandum that have revolutionized how we find and access and publish our content. Web 2.0 is just the spoon that we use to signify our bending of the world around us. And there is no spoon, neo.

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.


  1. […] **Author’s Note*** Originally posted here on thatedeguy. We don’t generally post items to two blogs, but thought this was newsworthy enough to try and cover both readerships. […]

  2. […] I posted about the Web 2.0 “traitors” the other day and today I found an article by Stowe Boyd that covers the same subject. It is quite a bit more in depth than mine and very well thought out. I encourage any one who read my post to also read Stowe’s post. […]