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Web Two Point Oh

Web 2.0 – by now most have heard of it but there are still a lot of people that don’t know what it is! I’m assuming you’re having one of three responses to that previous sentence:

• “Old news… you should have written this 2 years ago when Web 2.0 actually started!”
• “I’m not bothered what Web 2.0 means any more, I just accept it exists and get on with it. You should have written this a year ago when I still cared!”
• “Web 2.0? What’s that?” (Also similar to: “Yeah, I’ve been wondering what that’s all about.”

So, what is Web 2.0? It is, in a nutshell, the ‘second version of the Internet’ – hence the 2.0 prefix. When the phrase was coined a description was not given – examples were:

Ofoto (or TruPrint) is Web 1.0; Flickr is Web 2.0.
• Your web browser’s bookmarks are Web 1.0; del.icio.us is Web 2.0.
• Encarta is Web 1.0; Wikipedia is Web 2.0.

Take a website or web-technology and add things to it to make it user-manageable. The content of the site must be user-generated, networked together and run by those who use it. This blog is Web 2.0: I run it and you can comment on it; I can link to your blog and vice-versa while Technorati even does it for us.

Social networking is the entire idea behind the movement – users are networked together by a common interest and then further linked with those on the other person’s unrelated network – creating a web of connections through deep-linking. It’s ingenious and many believe it to be the future of the Internet – a way to keep it alive and constantly developing. A website will never become stagnant if it has users: an Internet evolution… survival of the fittest.

One thing I love about Web 2.0 though is the naming conventions used for the websites. Have some examples:

Flickr (remove the last vowel)
Digg (double instance of the final consonant, or just doubling up any letter)
Vimeo (replace a consonant somewhere to make your word contain ‘me’)
Del.icio.us (abuse of domain names to create words)

Why not combine more than one of the above for a truly Web 2.0 experience? Zooomr did. So when you’re thinking of a catchy name for your Web 2.0 start-up you need to think short, memorable, made-up and hence: unique. Unique is the most important one here – every single reference to Eatr (your user-maintained restaurant guide) should be about your website. Do a Google search and gloat to all your friends that all 200,000 results are about you! You’ll be bought out by IBM for millions in no time. Honest.

Rob Manuel suggests that possible future trends of Web 2.0 naming conventions could be:

• Ck = q (Fliqr, Fuqr, NiceWeatherForDuqs)
• e = 3
• ReallyReallyLongNamesThatBuckTheTrend

I’m not sure, but what I am sure about is that I want to get in on this trend before it’s too late and get a 2.0 address for my website. Llooyd? Morgn? LloydMorgansBlogIsPointlessYetSometimesQuiteInteresting.com? Sh.it? We shall see.

Have you got any good suggestions I could steal and make millions from? I like my Eatr example, and it could be changed to Meatr to be an anti-vegetarian community website (Meatr – The Meat-Eater Community)!

There are some pretty cool naming systems around too. Carl Tashian’s LokoBot will come up with some names and mission statements and then Rob Manuel’s Namr will twist the name around a bit to give you a true Web 2.0 name.

Then again, is Web 2.0 the name given to the new wave of buzz-words being used? I would like to think so. That would be more fun.