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RSS is Web 2.0 September 1, 2006

Posted by John in Technology.

Give me a break Gavin Clarke (the author of the Register post).  Web 2.0 is hyped and it is just as real as Web 1.0 but now it’s more than the Web now – it’s the Internet 2.0.  Web 2.0 is similar to Web 1.0 with bubble tendencies and all.  The key is the longevity that we will see with RSS.  RSS is Web 2.0.  

The Register points out that Tim B-Lee recent slam on Web 2.0.  They write… “Tim Berners-Lee, the individual credited with inventing the web and giving so many of us jobs, has become the most prominent individual so-far to point out that the Web 2.0 emperor is naked. Berners-Lee has dismissed Web 2.0 as useless jargon nobody can explain and a set of technology that tries to achieve exactly the same thing as “Web 1.0.”

Tim B-Lee is all wet on his argument that Gavin quotes.  “Web 2.0 relies on technologies that have been around for years. Berners-Lee pointed out the things that drove Web 1.0 also underpin Web 2.0 – the document object mode, HTML, http, SVG, web standards and – because he’s old school “Java script of course.” Free Software Foundation chief legal counsel Eben Moglen recently concurred at this month’s LinuxWorld, saying Web 2.0 owes its existence to software and development methodologies already established in open source…”The phenomena of the empty buzzword called Web 2.0 can only exist because of the real layer for free and open source software underneath,” Moglen said, letting the Web 2.0 crowd down gently.”

Duh! Of course the underpinnings of Web 1.0 drive Web 2.0.   Web 2.0 is the evolution of Web 1.0.   Web 2.0 is RSS.  Not one mention from Tim about RSS .. RSS is Web 2.0 and it is as disruptive as HTTP.. – nuff said

Tim’s a visionary but sometimes misses the practical aspects.  I remember back in 1995 and 1996 when I hung around the Computer Science building (3rd floor) with Tim and his crew that they just were coming to the realization of the potential.  I remember observing conversations with Tim and remember him saying how “his web” was never intended for it was supposed to be – especially urls.  I quote directly Tim said “urls were never intended to be an ad on the sides of buses”.  That being said Tim and his group made the Web happen and thanks to a Silicon Valley startup called Netscape the Web went ‘volcano’.

Disrputive enabler in any revolution is always rooted in a protocol.  TCP/IP, HTTP, and RSS.  TCP/IP gave us computing, netwroking, and Moores Law; HTTP gave us unlimited information access and browsing, and RSS is giving us access to all kinds of new benefits most of which will be born in the next 24 months – new media, personalization, access to new relationships, knowledge, inspiration, user choice, attention models, virtual spaces – second lives , virtual conferences ..etc

RSS is Web 2.0 just like HTTP was Web 1.0. 


1. Don Dodge - September 1, 2006

Excellent analysis, John. Yes, Web 2.0 has been hyped, but there is a real basis for the excitement. RSS, AJAX, and Mashups are making significant advancements possible.

It is human nature for the pioneers to say wait a minute, that was my idea, what you are saying is nothing new. It happens all the time.

You have done a nice job in this post separating the hype from the reality. The reality is good enough.

2. John Furrier - September 1, 2006

Thanks Don. I understand where Tim is coming from and I think that he was misquoted. If you ask Tim he will tell you that the url was never intended to be used for ‘idenity’. The market took it and ran with it.

I’m bullish on the longevity of Web 2.0 not because of some meme diagram but because of the robustness of RSS – that is a kind way of saying loose spec. I see some great innovation in new products being concieved that take web 2.0 to the next level – simplicity, ease of use, reduced clutter, attention conversion..etc.

One thing that is really turning out to be interesting is the effect on the open api or mashup side. As user care less and less about copyright and more about remixing then we’ll see how all the web 2.0 enthusiasts react…. can’t wait for that reality to set in… at PodTech we’re all for reconstruction and remixing…

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11. Online Kitchens - February 24, 2010

Thanks for a very interesting piece.

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