Friday, May 25, 2007

The Origin of Web 2.0

Because writing is my livelihood, writer's block is unacceptable to me. I have a number of techniques for getting unblocked, one of which is turning to creative writing (something more creative than what has me blocked). The scenario below is the result of a recent block. (Yes, I know the conventional origin story.)
The Birth of Web 2.0
(or, The Emperor's New Clothes)

One quiet day in a conventionally unconventional, smoke-free, politically correct, ISO-9000-compliant Southern California office ...

"Hey, Sanjay, you know how we've always had different versions of things, like 'Windows 3" and "WordStar 4.0?'"


"Well, why can't there be a 'Web 2.0?"

"Why should there be a Web 2.0, Jason?"

"Because it sounds cool, and nobody else has said it. If we talk about it first, people will think we're cool!"

"Yes. I like it! It'll be a new pair of dimes! It'll be--" He stopped and scratched his head. "Uh, what will it be?

Jason laughed--a donkey-like braying sound. "Heck, it doesn't have to be anything, Sanjay! I mean, think about it: Web 2.0 is such a cool term that it stands on its own! All we need to do is use it in a few conversations with the right people, and on the Web site, get people talking. Nobody will ask what it means for fear people will think they're not with it!"

Sanjay nodded. "You are right, Jason. People will make up their own definitions, and we will pick the one we like best!"

"Yes! Yes!" Jason brayed again. "The ultimate example of 'user-generated content,' and nobody will have a clue!"

Copyright © 2007, Michael A. Banks

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