Why Web 2.0? Why not NGW?

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Computer programmers of the previous century, in an attempt to save time and disk space, used to leave off the first two digits of the year when creating date fields. This, of course, turned out to be a bad decision.

Instead of being referred to as the Year 2000 problem, it become known as Y2K. Three characters instead of nine (including the space). Which is ironic, because it was that kind of thinking that got us into trouble in the first place.

Given this predilection, it’s odd that the term “Web 2.0” has become so widely adopted. Granted, it’s only seven characters (again, with the space). But surely, the technocrati could have done better than that.

Why not NGW (next-generation web)? Or NMI (new millenium Internet)? Even Web 21 (evoking the 21st century, get it?) is shorter by one character.

Of course, if Apple had its way, we’d have iWeb. Left to General Motors, and it would have been NYFI (not your father’s Internet). And thank god we didn’t let Microsoft name the concept. Otherwise, we’d be talking about Web 2002 (10.6832.6830) SP3.

But Web 2.0 is what it is. I’ll bet you this, though: That Tim O’Reilly is watching this like a hawk, just waiting for the right time to proclaim the start of Web 3.0.

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