Web 2.0 and travel – what a load of claptrap!

Web 2.0Am I the only one that gets irritated by the term “Web 2.0“?   I see it used all the time, with reference to travel websites and travel tools especially, but really I find it utterly meaningless.   People even talk of Travel 2.0, too.   Arrrrgggghhh!  Nobody seems capable of defining the term without resorting to similarly meaningless marketing buzzwords.   Is anyone out there with me on this, or am I missing something?   Oh well… I’ve said it now… at least I’ve “got it off my chest”!!

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. I am with you…and I am not…..

    Yes it seems a lot of hot air, on the other hand it feeds the second Internet bubble (airy n’est pas?) I am busy looking around and grabbing it…but eventually there seems to be something in the Air.



  2. Hmmm… what I don’t see is any sudden change. I see a continual, gradual evolution in the internet. Why haven’t we had a Web 1.1 and a Web 1.2…?

    I remember the very early days of the internet, before there was software to help you code a Web page. In those days, you couldn’t even have coloured backgrounds, and things were very primitive relative to now.

    Since then we’ve had all manner of developments: advances in HTML, DHTML, XHTML, CGI & Perl, Java applets, Javascript, Flash, ASP, CSS, PHP/MySQL and much more. Why NOW should we suddenly talk about Web 2.0…?

    I’d sooner it wasn’t labelled and we were just left to enjoy its continual growth and development without having to pigeon-hole it into what I regard as a meaningless term.


  3. Web 2.0 is one of my UFO’s (Un Finished Objects). Back in 2006 I took it upon me to look into it more in depth, but failed to do so. Now I see various new initiatives around the web 2.0 (at least as I understand it) themes:
    Community building;
    User generated content;
    Importing content from one website into another website;

    All in all old themes in a new coat(ing)
    Back in 1996 I was so fascinated by the possibility of chatting in chatboxes (community building)that I almost burnt my house when I fell asleep behind my computer with a burning sigarette (I still do smoke)….
    New pieces of software are now available to do the other two things better and faster…..
    Why not call it web 2.0?

  4. Regarding kittens – whenever anything had happens in the WWW the kittens are the ones to suffer, mainly because the MICE are in charge.

    Now with this Web 2.0 thing, erm, they don’t seem to have quite got the idea of how version numbering in computers is supposed to work.

    v0.9: Pre-release, almost all bugs out (aka. beta)
    v1.0: Released, used and re-evaluated.
    v1.0.1: Minor update but backwards compatible (bugfix)
    v1.1: Not usually compatible with pre-1.1.x versions
    v2.0: Total rewrite from ground up, significant improvements

    Therefore Web 2.0 can’t exist! No one has rewritten HTML or HTTP. They might have improved on them and added new stuff like CSS, XHTML and HTTP 1.1 but there’s nothing new.

    What really baffles me is things like the end of the comments on the above TBL page where someone claimed Web 2.0 was here because…

    “…years ago you couldn’t have a YouTube; you had struggling versions of ‘community’ but nothing like My Space; you had bulletin boards but nothing like the current power of blogging.”.

    – People have been putting videos on the Net for years, just ask the adult industry, but YouTube just made it a little easier.

    – Community I assume they mean things like these comments and forums. I remember forums from about 7 years ago at least and they existed prior to that. Basically it’s Usenet on the web.

    – Blogging, what’s new about that!? Putting up your own web site and typing stuff into it. I created my first web site 10 years ago and there was Dreamweaver like software around then so it wasn’t hard.

    I just don’t get this idea that suddenly we’ve had a massive leap. The last big one was Javascript (aka. Livescript) and that was a huge advance, and perhaps CSS after that. Those did things which weren’t possible before so wasn’t that web 2.0…?

    The term I think is mostly used by marketting people or new people who have absolutely no idea what came before IE6. They’ve heard of the “dark days” when AJAX wasn’t over used and think somewhere in the last 2 years some new dawn has arrived.

    Then again, they probably think the concept of clicking a mouse on the screen was invented by Bill Gates…!


  5. Actually if you want to know how much rubbish there is in this Web 2.0 concept, there’s an article on Travelmole which claims that Euro travel companies aren’t doing enough to allow users to “capitalise on mobile services, improve cross-selling opportunities, present information in different languages and improve and increase website search tools”.

    So basically make the web site work and that’s now Web 2.0 is it?

    One thing that hit me however is that this whole thing in theory is about letting users communicate with each other to produce a community. Erm…so why does no one ever mention Tripadvisor then when quoting companies? They’ve been doing that for years…


  6. Opps – TBL = Sir Tim Berners-Lee – the guy who is credited with inventing the web (yes, he’s a Brit to really annoy the Americans).

    Or if you’re talking to marketting folks, he’s the guy who created HTTP, simplified SGML into HTML and wrote the first compiled HTTP client & server processing system. That should make them think you’re god!


  7. You know we were talking about this earlier and have a new name for Web 2.0 – Schrodinger’s Web!

    The theory is that no two people ever define Web 2.0 in the same way. Thus we can assume that just like Schrodinger’s Cat, Web 2.0 changes depending who’s looking at it and thus can’t be defined.

    Or looked at another way – it could be Quantium Web. Just like some particles change their nature and position when directly observed (and may not even exist until observed), Web 2.0 changes itself to whatever the person looking at it wants it to be.


  8. Hmmm… one or two problems happening with commenting for some reason. I did make a comment above – and it should appear as comment number 4 – but it appears to have since disappeared. In short, here’s a quick draft of what I said:

    Things like community building and user-generated content have been around long before the term Web 2.0 was coined in 2004. In fact, the capability for this kind of thing has been around since the early days of the Web through CGI/Perl. One of the earliest communities we created was for a UK travel site and that was back in the 90s, using some message board software called Discus. That software first appeared back in 1997!

    Anyway, I began wondering whether anyone else feels like I do about the term, and did a search for like-minded individuals on Facebook. I’m now a proud member of Boycott “Web 2.0”. Actually, seriously though, for me the description for that group sums it up pretty well:

    This group was created because we’ve had enough of this ridiculous marketing taint that has been going on for the past few years.

    I say we just drop the “2.0” suffix entirely and bring it back to a state of purity by going back to just calling it “The Web.” The web was never meant to be a versioned medium in the first place.

    How do you think Tim Berners-Lee feels about all this? (Not very pleased, I’d say: https://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/berners-lee_disses_web20.php .)

    Every time you say «Web eval(“1+1”).0», a kitten dies. To this day 15,135,683,013,049,201 kitten mortalities have occurred because of this repeated act of human cruelty.

    Stop the massacre. Don’t call it _that_ any more.

    JUST TO BE CLEAR, this isn’t a boycott against the technology, but against the NAME.

    OK, so the bit about kittens is maybe a little strong, but I can empathise with the sentiments expressed there.

    Looking further, there’s even a group for Web 5.0… hmmm… are they taking the pee?


  9. Hmmm… I’m not sure. I don’t notice a ‘private’ option when editing. Also, some of Trev’s comments were mysteriously disappearing, after having been approved, and then I was later finding them under the Spam Karma 2 plug-in. I think I need to find a better spam protection thing-a-ma-jig…

  10. Thank you, Guido… I have now changed from Spam Karma 2 to Akismet (once I finally worked out how to get the API key).

    Hopefully that’ll now be an end to any commenting problems.


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