Whatever happened to Web 2.0? It occurred to me this afternoon that I’ve heard the phrase less and less. And a quick Google Trends search confirms that we’re in a post-Web 2.0 period (the graph for “Web 2” isn’t quite as pronounced but trends downwards as well).
But while we’re more obsessed than ever with technology and the role it plays in our lives, no single terminology has replaced “Web 2.0” in our vocabulary. Are we in the midst of a nomenclature transition or is there a new shorthand to describe the Internet in 2012? Posed this question to the Twittersphere. Responses included a few suggestions of “mobile,” “html5,” “apps,” “post-PC era” — all certainly important components of the age we live in – but several people honed in on what I think is a keen observation. This era doesn’t have a colorful descriptor because the Internet has ceased to be a phenomena – as Uber founder Travis Kalanik responded, the new term for the Internet is the Internet. Always connected means that there’s no longer the need to invent vocabulary around the Web. It just is. And that’s the most wonderful thing technology can do – fade to the background and just integrate into our lives.
Or you can believe Maya Baratz of Wall Street Journal who suggests the lack of an era-defining name might just be part of the boom-bust cycle. “If web 2.0 is any indication, the sequence is: 1. big crash that makes everyone lose hope 2. a comeback 3. comeback name.” Um Web 3.0: Web Harder?