O’Reilly Media Inc.
Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices, Fall 2006
In 2004, we realized that the Web was on the cusp of a new era, one that would
finally let loose the power of network effects, setting off a surge of innovation and
opportunity. To help usher in this new era, O’Reilly Media and CMP launched a
conference that showcased the innovators who were driving it. When O’Reilly’s
Dale Dougherty came up with the term “Web 2.0” during a brainstorming session,
we knew we had the name for the conference. What we didn’t know was that the
industry would embrace the Web 2.0 meme and that it would come to represent
the new Web.
Web 2.0 is much more than just pasting a new user interface onto an old application.
It’s a way of thinking, a new perspective on the entire business of software—
from concept through delivery, from marketing through support. Web 2.0 thrives
on network effects: databases that get richer the more people interact with them,
applications that are smarter the more people use them, marketing that is driven
by user stories and experiences, and applications that interact with each other to
form a broader computing platform.
The trend toward networked applications is accelerating. While Web 2.0 has initially
taken hold in consumer-facing applications, the infrastructure required to
build these applications, and the scale at which they are operating, means that,
much as PCs took over from mainframes in a classic demonstration of Clayton
Christensen’s “innovator’s dilemma” hypothesis, web applications can and will
move into the enterprise space.
Two years ago we launched the Web 2.0 Conference to evangelize Web 2.0 and
to get the industry to take notice of the seismic shift we were experiencing. This
report is for those who are ready to respond to that shift. It digs beneath the hype
and buzzwords, and teaches the underlying rules of Web 2.0—what they are, how
successful Web 2.0 companies are applying them, and how to apply them to your
own business. It’s a practical resource that provides essential tools for competing
and thriving in today’s emerging business world. I hope it inspires you to embrace
the Web 2.0 opportunity.
—Tim O’Reilly, Fall 2006