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Web 2.0: Is it a question or has it been answered?

UPDATE 9/30/05: In anticipation of the O’Reilly Web 2.0 conference, Tim O’Reilly presents his position (i.e., answer) to the Web 2.0 question.

Om Malik was at dinner last night where the “What *is* Web 2.0 anyway?” question came up and he wrote about it asking for comments. I just left the following as a comment and realized it needed to be a post:

With some of the debate about what Web 2.0 is or isn’t, I also was thinking about the Web 2.0 conference (which I’m attending) next week. After reading this post, I went off to my own blog and looked at all my posts that I tagged with Web 2.0″.

Pretty eclectic bunch of posts. Is Web 2.0 a pipe? Yep. A set of enabling technologies? Yep. Applications? Check. How about interoperability and software as a service (i.e., web services). Oh yeah.

The analogies to a PC or even distributed enterprise I.T. (processing; messaging bus; I/O; applications; communications) is clear. That can only lead to one conclusion: this next phase of the internet is a platform upon which applications are built as well as services delivered (and the line between applications and services ” whether on the desktop or within the enterprise” is blurring).

The differentiator of Web 2.0 (vs. 1.0) is that humans en masse are infusing our collective consciousness in to the usage of this platform and its applications/services. In addition, critical mass of use of the always-on-internet has been achieved and the building blocks of a platform are in place.