Dion Hinchcliffe's 10 issues facing Web 2.0 and David Beisel's perspective prompted me to write this post. There is so much hype and over-use of the term that i'd like to articulate what Web 2.0 means to me.
Simply put, web 2.0 is a collective realization that we have reached a pivotal point on the web where we agree that it's time for the "next" chapter. Why now? Just because that's how it is. AOL, Yahoo, MSN, Ebay, Amazon and Google defined and lead Web 1.0. Maybe those same companies will continue to lead the way. Maybe new companies will.
Either way, it's now time to make the online experience better in such a signifcant way that it's worthy of being called Web 2.0. That's it as far as i'm concerned. Specific ways that we do that: AJAX, social bookmarking, RSS, etc are all important means to this end but they should not be used to define Web 2.0. I hope this definition isn't too boring or straightforward, but that's how i see it...nothing more.
As an aside, i think a lot of the new so-called Web 2.0 companies/services are more focused on offering "more" than on how to truly make things better for people. That doesn't surprise me as i think it's human nature, but it will rapidly change if/when they fail to gain wide adoption.