Web 2.0: Relief is at Hand
If you notice your throat tingling every time you hear about the web’s latest upgrade, a soothing elixir has hit the shelves. It’s called “v3.0”—a most excellent curative from Jeffrey Zeldman in the latest A List Apart (January 16). This excerpt provides a taste:
Steven, a young web wiz, has just celebrated his bar mitzvah. He received a dozen gifts and must write a dozen thank-you notes. Being webbish, he creates an on-line “Thank-You Note Generator.” Steven shows the site to his friends, who show it to their friends, and soon the site is getting traffic from recipients of all sorts of gifts, not just bar mitzvah stuff.
If Steven created the site with CGI and Perl and used tables for layout, this is the story of a boy who made a website for his own amusement, perhaps gaining social points in the process. He might even contribute to a SXSW Interactive panel.
But if Steven used AJAX and Ruby on Rails, Yahoo will pay millions and Tim O’Reilly will beg him to keynote.
Gordon Gekko types will not realise they are sick, but Jon Stewarts may sleep a little easier having been reminded to breath rhythmically, and not to put all their air in one bubble.
The active ingredients? Developing for the web in 2006 is about figuring out what people are having trouble doing and then designing something that takes their pain away. Well-implemented next-generation technologies can help but high quality communication is still, and always will be, essential. If people can teach themselves how to use your invention in two minutes then you’ve done very well.
And if Tim O’Reilly is leaving messages then you can take the rest of the day off. (But you’d be wise to keep showing up for work, at least until the check clears.)