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But this time, the buzzword is really just a marketing ploy used to hype incremental improvements over the groundbreaking technologies that were labeled Web 2.0, analysts said during this week’s Gartner Web Innovation Summit in Las Vegas.
“There are a lot of constituencies trying to hijack the term Web 3.0,” Gartner fellow David Mitchell Smith said Thursday.
These are mostly vendors pushing virtual worlds, the semantic Web and the mobile Web, Smith said.
Web 2.0 staples such as AJAX, mashups, blogs and wikis gained mass adoption after a few years in which there was not a lot of innovation in Web technology, said Gene Phifer, a Gartner distinguished analyst.
Gartner analysts are avoiding the temptation to give a new label to the latest technologies such as virtual worlds and the
semantic Web, saying they’re not providing the same kind of fundamental change as blogs, wikis and social networking tools.
“It’s not going to be another era like Web 2.0,” Phifer said. “However, there will be some very interesting innovative things coming out. If you’re in love with numbering schemes, maybe it’s Web 2.1.”
What’s important to recognize is that Web 2.0 technologies are here to stay and, if IT helps nudge them along, can help improve
collaboration and make businesses stronger, analysts said over the course of several sessions at the conference.
“The bad story (about Web 2.0) is client X comes up to me and says ‘we’ve implemented a blog, no one’s using it, we implemented a wiki, everyone’s using it, and nothing’s working right,’” said Tom Austin, a Gartner fellow. “The biggest problem with Enterprise 2.0 is thinking about it as ‘what product do I buy and how many people are using it.’ This isn’t an issue of provisioning telephone service.”
Web 2.0 is coming into your business whether you want it to or not, because the line between work and personal lives is blurring and digital natives – young people – are moving into the corporate world. Kids use blogs, wikis and social networking tools to interact with each other, and expect the same in the workplace.
“Your users will do it behind your back, bring this stuff in and make it part of their processes, and eventually you’ll have to deal with it anyway,” Phifer said.