Dion Hinchcliffe has an excellent post outlining the top 10 issues for Web 2.0 today (an 11th was added in the comments by Paul Montgomery). Here's a summary of Dion's list with comments from me, but be sure to check his site too because he has useful commentary for each point.
1. Excessive Hype: "Nothing will hurt Web 2.0 more than people loudly proclaiming Web
2.0 is the solution to every problem in software. [...] Web 2.0 is merely a powerful way
of thinking about the design and construction of effective Web experiences."
--> RM: I'd also add excessive anti-hype.
2. Lack of Simple Definition
--> RM: I've had most success defining Web 2.0 to normal people using familiar examples, like MyYahoo or Google or even Wikipedia. I still use the staple 'Web as Platform' as my starting-point (and you can't get much more succinct than that), but it needs real examples to back it up.
3. Aging Poster Children: "Flickr and del.icio.us are absolutely terrific examples of
the new face of Web 2.0. [but] these guys are getting a little long in the tooth in Web
years and while very good, their functionality is nowhere near as central to our lives as
say Google, which is already 7 years old."
--> hence my current search for disruptive technologies.
4. Needing A Permaconnection
--> RM: This one is a matter of time. In my country, New Zealand, the broadband service is expensive and slow. But I survive :-)
5. Ajax as the Official Web 2.0 Experience: "Ajax is getting serious hype at the moment too but quite frankly, people are going to expect so much from it that it will get ugly. [...] Flash might also be a partial answer to certain solutions, and Yahoo! apparently agrees. But I do think we need to focus on solving these problems by tweaking the Web browser model and not hacking things to improve Ajax."
6. Excessive Attention On The Technology
--> RM: I agree, but would add that not enough attention on the technology can also be an issue. As always, it's about striking a balance.
7. Really Bad Adherents. "I'm not going to point fingers here but like every other succesful idea before it, everyone wants to co-opt it."
8. Blogging Instead of Doing.
--> I think all of us bloggers suffer from this affliction, but as Dion pointed out it applies equally to the Naysayers (in case you were getting smug reading this!).
9. Not Facing Hard Truths. e.g. Dion cites non-shared, private algorithms and the push
for near-monopolistic user counts.
--> RM: a lot of this boils down to being open and letting the user really have control. I think all 3 of the big companies (MS, Google, Y!) have major issues here and it's time for us Web 2.0 pundits to shine some more light on those. I don't know whether we can stop it, but it's worth highlighting at least. If we let the bigco's build Web 2.0, we may find ourselves locked up in data silos. This is the point that Steve Gillmor has been driving at and he is leading the charge for data ownership with AttentionTrust.
10. Adopting The Lightweight Creation Model: "Both Microsoft's entry into the space
(Fred Wilson's comments)and Google's recent releases have been pretty
--> Dion expects "a new generation of companies to build Web 2.0" and I agree, to a point. But established user base and money does still, alas, count for a lot in this world.
11. (from Paul Montgomery) Thinking The Whole World Is Like Silicon Valley: Paul says
"I don't know how many times I've read that Memeorandum has "changed the Web", but how
many readers does it have outside the people who are mentioned on it? Web 2.0 is still a
very small, insular movement. There should be far more attention paid to what people who
aren't impossibly well-connected and highly technologically savvy will want from these
--> I find myself agreeing with Paul, not so much about memeorandum but about the whole insularity of Web 2.0 culture. The Yahoo! Maps announcement last night is a prime example. When I was in Silicon Valley, I found myself using Yahoo and Google Maps all the time (mostly the latter). They were so handy. I'm sure I'd be drooling over Yahoo Maps today if I was still in the Valley. But I'm not - I'm on the other side of the world and Yahoo Maps has little relevancy to me, because it doesn't cover this part of the world. The technology is impressive, don't get me wrong, and will be rolled out to the rest of the world in future. But right now it's irrelevant to anyone not living in the US. This is the kind of Silicon Valley-centric culture that Web 2.0 people need to address.
So in summary, a great list from Dion and these are all points we can chip away at.