At one of the sessions during the Web 2.0 conference, Ross Mayfield
stood up and proclaimed “Web 2.0 is People!”
I was initially thinking that a tight definition of Web 2.0 was required and that it should really be focused on the technology but upon further reflection I really do think that People are also a driving force. To be more specific, I think that User Generated Content is one thing that is driving huge amounts of the adoption that we’ve seen over the last couple of years.
While it’s obvious that phenomena like social networking are driven by
user generated content, I would also argue that RSS and podcasting are as well.
Think about this for a second. Pointcast came out in the mid nineties with a
push driven model that delivered content right to your desktop. It was popular
but never really got adopted en masse. Why is it that RSS and podcasting are working
out so well? I think it’s because of the content. People really want to keep up
with what their friends have to say and what people they respect have to say
more than just what the mainstream media have to say.
An alternative explanation is that the longtail is what is really driving this. That people can now get access to the content that they really want in a microcast kind of way. Although if you think about it – all that longtail content is being driven by user generated content as opposed to content from big media.