Doc Searls grabs the Web 2.0 meme by the horns and gives it a good shake. He's posted a thought-provoking piece in which he frames Web 2.0 in the following way:

"I propose a goal: Make Web 2.0 the best possible commons for supporting free markets and free culture."

I'm glad Doc has weighed in on the ongoing debate about what Web 2.0 is. So far we've had mainly techies and business folks pecking away at the definition, but it hasn't really been approached from a 'social commons' point of view. And who better to do that than Doc Searls.

Doc wrote his post in response to one by Martin at Mediatope, who is creating a "a cumulative Web 2.0 definition" which he says is:

"Mainly based on the proto-definition work of richard mcmanus' writereadweb, still the most imprtant resource for Web 2.0. The wikipedia-entry is also valuable, despite being "disputed"."

Very nice of you to say so Martin, thank you!

btw the 'Web as platform' definition is a bit misunderstood, by some people who say - well, Web 1.0 was a platform too. So let me try and clarify a little. When I say Web 2.0 = 'Web as platform' - I'm referring to shared infrastructure and standards such as RSS, XML, API's, structured microcontent, read/write web tools like blogging and podcasting, web services, etc. None of that was around in a usable state in the first edition of the Web (in the 90's). You could put up a static or interactive website, do e-commerce transactions, participate in message boards and so forth. But you couldn't build on top of any of that... it wasn't a true platform. So when I use the word 'platform', I mean it must provide an infrastructure - and a network - for people to build on top of it. Build what? Communities, collaboration, communication, and (yes, don't forget) commerce.

Perhaps 'Web as OS' is a more accurate description, but I prefer to use the word 'platform' because it's not as techie and it can be expanded upon much better - e.g. as a business term, or to explain how for journalists the Web can be a platform for new news media. It's not as effective to say "the Web is an OS" to non-geeks...

Anyway, I'm very glad to see the definition of Web 2.0 being discussed openly and from all sorts of angles. The Wikipedia definition is still a (disputed) work in progress, but that's OK. This is what we have weblogs and wikis for - to thrash out concepts in public and build on them ;-)