Of all the thundering Web 2.0 prophets, the only one I haven't had the honor of formally debating is Moses himself, Tim O'Reilly. It was O'Reilly and his marketing mavens at O'Reilly Media, of course, who, back in the primordial soup of 2004, invented the term "Web 2.0". And it was O'Reilly who, in his September 2005 essay "What is Web 2.0", brilliantly juxtaposed the core principles of Web 1.0 with those of Web 2.0. Without O'Reilly, I couldn't and wouldn't have written Cult. Not only did his essay profoundly enlighten me about the revolutionary qualities of Web 2.0, but also his generous invitation to FOO Camp in September 2004 resulted in a 48-hour epiphany that transformed me from believer into sceptic.
So I'm thrilled that I've finally had a kind of debate with old Moses O'Reilly. He and I found ourselves implicitly arguing with one another in a really incisive new documentary entitled "The Truth According to Wikipedia" filmed by the Dutch television show VPRO. Many of the Web 2.0 prophets are featured in the documentary Including Jimmy Wales, Charlie Leadbeater and Chris Pirrilo. But it's an unshaven O'Reilly, a grizzled alpha meme producer if there was ever an grizzled alpha meme producer, who dominates the Web 2.0 team.
So anyway, Tim, I need to borrow your wisdom again. Having watched "The Truth According to Wikipedia" a new truth has dawned on me. As I'm sure you know, the truth about Web 2.0 is that the lights are out and the party is over. Web 2.0: circa 2000-2008 RIP. The whole "web as platform" thing has played itself out. We all now know its technological strengths and weaknesses, its cultural accomplishments and failures, its economic appearance and reality. We are back in 1999/2000 again -- in no-man's land, historically orphaned, in-between epochs.
So, Tim, what comes next? What is the next big thing after Web 2.0?
Now I know you are way too prophetic to call it "Web 3.0" -- but it does need a catchy name so we can package it up for the media. And it needs ideas, organizing principles, a central theme. Is the new new Internet thing about technology, culture, politics or society? What will it do to America? And how will it change the world?