Tim O'Reilly retires Web 2.0 for Web Squared

The king of buzzword coinage in the tech world Tim O’Reilly has offered up alternative to tired looking Web 2.0.

Yes, there’s a new kid on the block, or there is, according to O’Reilly. His keynote at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco looked back at the last five years of the web and said:

“The baby we built with technology is growing up and it’s starting to go to work.”

O’Reilly’s point is that Web 2.0 technologies have grown up and “matured” and they have moved from nice places to be, such as Facebook, into useful applications that improve our lives.

His examples of maturation centered aound the way that Web 2.0 technologies are interacting with the world through the use of sensors. Examples are the British company Aimee and its energy metering aggregator; iPhone apps that search on voice recognition; and the Google search function that predicts where flu will hit next.

Whereas I agree that Web 2.0 does sound tired, I wonder if the world is ready for yet another buzzword, when most companies have yet to get to grips with Web 2.0 in the first place.

What does Web Squared mean to O’Reilly?

According to the BBC, O’Reilly’s definition sees the co-ordination of these sensors that move beyond Web 2.0 and engage with the world. 

“Web 2.0 + World = Web Squared.”

 Am I right to be sceptical? Isn’t this just another vacuous buzzword, another word to add to marketing hype and puffy press releases. 

O’Reilly is right that Web 2.0 is now making a difference in people’s lives, but Web Squared…. Blimey O’Reilly!