Monday, March 10, 2008

Please, Enough with the 2.0 Already

I am tired of 2.0.

It's not Web 2.0 that I object to, that's not the problem. Tim O'Reilly's moniker for the recent developments in web applications really caught the imagination of the populous because it does an excellent job distinguishing today's social computing from the previous iteration of the web as well as from the theory and as-yet unmet expectations of the semantic web.

No, I like Web 2.0. It is all the other two point oh's I object to. First there was Enterprise 2.0, which is an expression I try hard not to use. There is very little benefit calling something Enterprise 2.0 over web 2.0 in the enterprise or social software applied to business. It takes the identification of a truly revolutionary transformation in computing and turns it into a fuzzy catch phrase.

But it got worse. I started hearing about Knowledge 2.0 in the KM community, Training 2.0 among my friends in instructional design, and most recently Work 2.0.

Stop it! For one thing, if we are talking about work, we must be at version 10.2.2 at a minimum. (I'll explain my numbering scheme later, if anyone cares.) Web 2.0 is, at least in part, both responsible for and a manifestation of the latest transition of work in its constant cycle between waves of oppression, cooperation, and exploitation. But don't confuse the two.

So let's make a pact: no more 2.0. If you really think you have identified a revolutionary and transformative trend, come up with your own label that can accurately describe it and
represent that trend. Don't leech off the creativity of others and confuse the issue by attaching a clear name for something happening today to fuzzy, ill-defined initiatives or wishful thinking.

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