Will technology ever catch up?

Opinion: Will web 2.0 crash, as web 1.0 did?

Posted by cascadehush on October 24, 2006

Frankly I don’t know.

But consider this. Web 1.0 failed because no-one was making any money. Are any of the web 2.0 companies making money, apart from a few major players?

Web 1.0 was more than just a failure, it was a disaster because it burned up venture capital with no hope of ever turning a profit. That, at least, is a lesson learned. I think.

Now we all know that money isn’t everything, but it is necessary.

What concerns me, is that whilst web 1.0 took with it the fortunes of many small investors, web 2.0, if the crash comes, will take with it much more important things. Social networks, personal photographic archives, blogs and their comments, online collaborative efforts and other such things.

If web 2.0 fails, it wont be the gushing wound that web 1.0 was, but a much more subtle bleeding associated with a failure to make real income to support itself in the long run.

I think we need a web 3.0. A web based on real-world economics where people pay their way. Maybe for that to be a reality we need to re-visit the idea of cybercash, where micro-payments can be made for content. Maybe we can help pay our way via a bit-torrent style bandwidth sharing arrangement. Skype do this now.

These notions are not very romantic, but sooner or later the romance stops and the real work of day to day life needs to be attended to.

The more touchy-feely and stylistically simple web 2.0 rose from the ashes of the techno-brash web 1.0. We felt the need to console ourselves a little and gather round the global fireplace and build a web that catered to our more basic human needs. One can only hope that it won’t take another crash for us to mature into the adult-hood of a web that can ‘work 9-5’ and bring home an honest wage to pay our way in this world.


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