Why Web 2.0? Why not NGW?

Computer programmers of the previous century, in an attempt to save time and disk space, used to leave off the first two digits of the year when creating date fields. This, of course, turned out to be a bad decision.

Instead of being referred to as the Year 2000 problem, it become known as Y2K. Three characters instead of nine (including the space). Which is ironic, because it was that kind of thinking that got us into trouble in the first place.

Given this predilection, it’s odd that the term “Web 2.0” has become so widely adopted. Granted, it’s only seven characters (again, with the space). But surely, the technocrati could have done better than that.

Why not NGW (next-generation web)? Or NMI (new millenium Internet)? Even Web 21 (evoking the 21st century, get it?) is shorter by one character.

Of course, if Apple had its way, we’d have iWeb. Left to General Motors, and it would have been NYFI (not your father’s Internet). And thank god we didn’t let Microsoft name the concept. Otherwise, we’d be talking about Web 2002 (10.6832.6830) SP3.

But Web 2.0 is what it is. I’ll bet you this, though: That Tim O’Reilly is watching this like a hawk, just waiting for the right time to proclaim the start of Web 3.0.

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5 thoughts on “Why Web 2.0? Why not NGW?

  1. Yes, I think you’re right — he might have even jumped 3.0 to 4.0. Very uncharacteristic of Godin — he’s typically really good at naming things. And don’t think that I’m trying to introduce a new term.

  2. I actually like the term web 2.0. Yes, it has nothing to do with an actual software implementation number. But there are some important things that web 2.0 conveys. One: It’s better than the first era of static web pages. Two: It’s a work in progress, and it’s not finished yet. Three: The importance of improved software development tools in the evolution of the web.

    To me, most of the important facets of web 2.0 were espoused in the Cluetrain Manifesto. But it’s far easier to say web 2.0 than The Cluetrain-inspired web. That’s just not as catchy! πŸ™‚

    I doubt if there will be any web 3.0 designation. I bet that the next generation of web will have its own nickname. And BTW, calling it the Y2K problem instead of the Year 2000 problem is simple human language shorthand that happens all the time. Y2K has three syllables versus Year Two Thousand’s four syllables. Plus Y2K sounds cooler and is catchier. Nobody coded “Y2K” to save space.

  3. Pingback: “Web 2.0″ has jumped the shark « EverythingCU.com Brand Adventure

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