Interesting Tim O Reilly interview/ Web 2.0

Very interesting Tim O Reilly interview by Kamla Bhatt . Thanks Jag for pointing me to this ..

Here are my notes of this interview.

1) Web 2.0 is all about using the Internet as a platform and harnessing collective intelligence

2) Web 2.0 is dominated by data and not software

3) In particular ‘user enhanced databases’ i.e. databases built and refined by the users

4) thought that the Internet was like television i.e. was not using the Internet as a platform(in contrast to Google)

5) On the Internet, you build a product that gets better as you harness the intelligence of the users. Hence, users must contribute. I once blogged about this – Communities are not Web 2.0 because talk is cheap!f)

6) Amazon is a commodity business on one hand (you can’t get more commodity than selling books!) but has implemented many small Web 2.0 innovations(like reviews) so that they are far away from the commodity. –

7) A new crop of companies like MySpace, YouTube and others are Web 2.0 from the outset.

8) Skype although not based on Web technology, is seen to be Web 2.0 because it is P2P.

9) Web 2.0 is all about building systems that get better the more people use them

10) It is not Ajax, mashups etc(I have often used the example of the blind men and the elephant for people who miss the part for the whole)

11) The principle of ‘Network is the platform’ is the uptake. Source of lockin is the ‘user enhanced database’

12) Competitive advantage goes to the owner of the largest database i.e. Amazon has an order of magnitude more reviews

13) Telcos – think so much in the old style (IT driven companies). Lock in via contracts – but if they thought like Google – then the lock in would be through mining and harnessing data since the historical data is there (in the system) – it is just not leveraged.

14) This means – If there are two ‘Tims’ in the address book, based on customer history, the one to whom more calls are made would be presented first.

15) Opportunity for Enterprise: Enterprise software that gets better the more people use it

16) For example: Information sharing around a supply chain

17) We are on a new platform. The platform is the Internet, On the Internet, the rules are different. Information sharing is actually better than information hoarding. With enough people sharing information – you build a database and the database becomes bigger and better with incremental users

18) A link is a vote .. so how people spend money(aggregating financial transactions) is a vote(in context of a Hispanic start-up – forget name)

19) People are sharing more – esp personal information.(ex Twitter)

20) Most disruptive technologies are often ones that appear to be toys ..

21) Twitter can be viewed as a presence platform where new applications can be built

22) Jaiku! I need to test that.

23) Don’t dismiss the toys .. They are the future ..

24) In an era of commoditization, people are looking to express themselves ..

25) What is the difference between a song and a ringtone: A song is something you consume vs. ringtone is something you display. Hence ringtone has ‘more’ value than the song even when it is a poor copy of the song

26) In an ‘Art market’, products are sold not on the basis of what they do but on the basis of what they mean. Apple has been doing ‘art market marketing’ from the very beginning.

27) As computers become commoditised .. people buy the Apple for what it means!(and less for what it does)

28) Twitter, avatars etc are all a form of self expression.

29) Online identity – next phase of web 2.0. Spock service searches people

30) Enterprise and pervasive computing are also opportunities

31) Privacy concerns are overblown in relation to the Web. Credit card companies in contrast collect a lot more information about us.

My views follow:

This is a fascinating discussion. Web 2.0, to me, is very clear. Sadly, many people don’t understand it because

a) Some don’t want to understand it

b) Some have their own agendas(dreams of defining Web 3.0!),

c) Some see it as ‘software and not data’ and

d) Some others see it as a part and not the whole

With some exceptions, in my view, Telcos are probably the last to understand Web 2.0 because they don’t understand network effects and are trying very hard to maintain the status quo. Many struggle to understand they are on the Internet. Even when they are, they use technologies like IMS to create barriers which run counter to the Internet.

This is partly a reason I follow the O Reily thinking so closely – because in defining Mobile Web 2.0, I see it as a sub meme of Web 2.0. It sounds pedantic, but I want to preserve the integrity of the original ideas. A more complete discussion on here Mobile Web 2.0 philosophy


  1. Very interested information! Thanks

  2. Makes a lot of sense as in current scenario, users find some kind of kick in sharing the personal information. Take a look at scraps phenomenon of orkut. Open house discussion and every one could see it. Way to go!