I have been asked to author two articles for a forthcoming edition of Marketing Magazine that is focusing on ‘new media’.

In one of the articles, I expand on a theme I recently covered here – that Web 2.0 does not exist – so I thought I’d share a snippet:


At its core, the Internet (and thus the Web) is a medium for communicating information (I use the word “information” in the broadest sense.) As a communications medium, it has no implicit value and does not exist as a ‘thing’ – much less a thing that requires version numbering.

O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 definition, and the others, is actually describing a change in our experience of the Web as a communications medium.

Put simply, the technological underpinnings of the Web are improving contemporaneously with our understanding of the role and benefits of the Web. The technology has finally caught up with the promise, at roughly the same time as we have started to treat the Web as a communications medium in its own right.

As we have witnessed time and again, whenever a new medium emerges, its proponents imbue it with the same thinking, practices and business models of the old, and in so doing retard its initial growth.

What we are seeing today is the result of 10 years cumulative experience with using the Internet for business, personal, social and other objectives. Individuals and companies are starting to get a true sense of the relative merits and advantages of the Internet (and the Web in particular) as a communications medium, and the new practices, business models, products, services and activities it enables.