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Discovering the Patterns of Web 2.0

| by Scott Delap Follow 0 Followers on Aug 29, 2006. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |
Tim O'Reilly recently held a workshop to discuss the emerging patterns of Web 2.0. The goal of the workshop was to build on his paper What is Web 2.0. Notable attendees included Martin Fowler, Bill Scott from Yahoo, Cal Henderson form Flickr, Gregor Hohpe from Google, and Sandy Jen from Meebo. Gregor summarized the workshop on his blog:

In O'Reilly's paper he notes the transition from Web 1.0 to 2.0.

  • DoubleClick -> AdSense
  • OFoto -> Flickr
  • Britannica Online -> Wikipedia
The attendees each defined what Web 2.0 meant to them. The list of characteristics mentioned included:
    Do one thing well - meebo.com
    Work across devices - backpackit.com's cell phone features
    Encourage participation - boring Flickr icons result in customizations
    Make public data public - Zillow.com

The group then compiled a set of values, along the lines of the Agile Manifesto:

  • Simplicity over Completeness
  • Long tail over Mass Audience
  • Share over Protect
  • Advertise over Subscribe
  • Syndication over Stickiness
  • Early Availability over Correctness
  • Select by Crowd over Editor
  • Honest voice over Corporate Speak
  • Participation over Publishing
  • Community over Product
Gregor concluded with some other 'cool stuff' he saw including learning a new acronym from Martin Fowler: "POX = Plain Old XML (as opposed to SOAP + WS-*)"

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InfoQ is gladly Web 1.5 by Floyd Marinescu

I first heard the term POJO (Plain Old Java Object) from Martin way back in 2001, and we all know how popular that became. POX however sounds like a disease. :)

I think InfoQ is Web 1.5, and thankfully! It is what allows us to serve you so well. How we stack up:

* Simplicity over Completeness
We've agonized over every pixel, tried to make the site as simple as possible.

* Long tail over Mass Audience
Not sure what long tail means.

* Share over Protect
Everything on the site is free. We publish a changelog, we try to be as open as possible.

* Advertise over Subscribe
Definitely. Everything is free for the user. One big difference between us and web 2.0ish site is that we don't use Google Adsense or any ad network. IMHO, ad networks clutter the site and are of less commercial value for a niche industry like ours. Instead we have a real sales team that has relationships with vendors and works in that old-school but proven manner.

* Syndication over Stickiness
Here we're not all the way there. All though we have personalized RSS feeds (and I am not aware of any other information site that does this), we only publish summaries in the feeds - people still have to click back to InfoQ.

* Early Availability over Correctness
Yup - we launched as v0.7. We don't even have search yet. Yes that's coming before 1.0. :)

* Select by Crowd over Editor
We don't do this, but on the other hand our editors don't see themselves as managers but instead facilitators - we facilitate and coordinate to get community happenings and content on InfoQ. I don't think that select by croud could work well for a site like InfoQ that emphasizes quality and and analysis over quantity. We have a team of actual industry architects that work proactively through their network to find out what's cool and post it. We do however encourage people to contribute links to news items and submit technical articles. This is a community for you - our editors are facilitators, not God-figures.

* Honest voice over Corporate Speak
I think we're doing good here, although we do strive to write neutrally and unbiased which are established journalistic principles.

* Participation over Publishing
Anyone can submit a news item or a technical article. We do filter for quality though.

* Community over Product
The community is the lifeblood of InfoQ, we can only exist if we do a good job serving the community.

...but we do have round edges! by Floyd Marinescu

Oh I forgot one important thing - we do have round edges everywhere and do use AJAX wherever it makes sense. So maybe we are more like Web 1.6. :)

some more details by Alex Popescu

I would really like to hear more details about what are the following meaning:
* Long tail over Mass Audience
* Share over Protect
* Advertise over Subscribe
* Syndication over Stickiness

./alex
--
:Architect of InfoQ.com:
.w( the_mindstorm )p.

Re: Long Tail by Scott Delap

As defined by Wikipedia Longtail:


"The phrase The Long Tail (as a proper noun with capitalized letters) was first coined by Chris Anderson in a 2004 article in Wired magazine [1] to describe certain business and economic models such as Amazon.com or Netflix ... The concept drew in part from an influential essay by Clay Shirky, "Power Laws, Weblogs and Inequality" that noted that a relative handful of weblogs have many links going into them but "the long tail" of millions of weblogs may have only a handful of links going into them. ... Anderson argued that products that are in low demand or have low sales volume can collectively make up a market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters, if the store or distribution channel is large enough."

In InfoQ terms would you rather have 5 really popular articles with 1000k views apiece or 1000k articles with 20 clicks apiece?

Re: Long Tail by Floyd Marinescu

Thanks for the point Scott. Maybe I'm not getting it, but it seems to me that Web 2.0 is about mass audience.

digg.com wouldn't work if it were not for sheer numbers of people, out of which a small small percentage of them actually take the time to vote on news so that the majority can then watch the nicely filtered news on the homepage.

Re: InfoQ is gladly Web 1.5 by Javier Pavier

I first heard the term POJO (Plain Old Java Object) from Martin way back in 2001, and we all know how popular that became. POX however sounds like a disease. :)

Sorry, but "JPOX" already exists and has exclusive copyright of that term.

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