Why Is It Still Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 Summit went down in SF this week and, with the exception of a few speakers who ducked out because of pre-IPO jitters, a good portion of upper echelon Internet notables were there, including final speaker and Web 3.0 proponent Reid Hoffman.

Since Hoffman famously holds that we’ve already surpassed an era defined by social sharing straight into an era defined by the implementation of the data generated by social sharing, why still call it Web 2.0 Summit?

Curious, I spoke to Techweb CEO Tony Uphoff about a potential change in nomenclature for the conference, “What’s happened is that this particular event has become a brand,” he responded, “The average person that attends this doesn’t stop to think of Web 2.0 as a technical term —  they think that this has become the gathering place for the Internet economy.”

When asked if he felt pressure to move up a version number because of Hoffman’s push into Big Data and the general touting of 3.0 terminology, Uphoff replied, “Technically speaking, is Reid reflecting that there’s a new level of infrastructure and fusion between applications and a technical layer that we could argue is like 4G? [Well] He’s right technically ….” Uphoff acknowledged. He then went on to reiterate how Web 2.0 attendees do not think of the conference’s branding in the technical sense.

In an earlier interview, conference host John Battelle described how Web 2.0 could contribute to Web 3.0 as such, “As an industry and as a society we need to have a conversation about what it means to have all of this information, created, applicable, leveragable [and] exploitable.”

The most important conversation topic at Web 2.0 Summit? Ironically, Web 3.0.

Special thanks: Janetti Chon