So what is Web 2.0? At the core, it is an applied web service model that blurs the line between software and service. It can do this because: 1) it is optimized for the 60 million broadband connections in place; 2) it can count upon an installed base of 300 million video-ready mobile and PC devices; and 3) Thanks to the AJAX meme, it can reliably assume the ubiquity of a really good browser experience.
So that answers the “HOW” side of the equation, but “WHY” now? Simply put, the emergence of the blogosphere has changed the equation. First off, its footprint has become really meaningful. At last count, according to Technorati, there are 16 million blogs in existence, growing 100K new blogs a day and generating a jaw-dropping 1.2 million new posts a day.
Second, the mainstreaming of RSS is enabling syndication and subscription systems that can intelligently process context-aware messages. Over time, these systems will become adept at handling rich content “payloads,” enabling further innovation. Slide is an early example of one such application, and I covered the RSS side of the Web 2.0 equation in an earlier post.
But the real shocker in all of this is that people really seem to enjoy generating lots of custom content and then sharing it on a broad scale, proving that the open source movement is not just some techie phenomena.
As a new class of photo and video cameras gain support for wi-fi based upload capabilities, this will remove a perceived hurdle to getting multimedia content online (a challenge that mobile devices happily avoid), fostering creation of some really compelling digital media services.