Tag Archives: definition

Web 2.0: A Potluck Party

I am a foodie, so I see things a little bit differently.

Last week, we read O’reilly’s article on definitions and characteristics of Web 2.0. Let’s briefly recap the 7 core features of Web 2.0 O’reilly listed in this article:

  • Web as a platform
  • Harness collective intelligence
  • Data is the next Intel inside
  • End of software release cycle
  • Lightweight programming
  • Multi-device
  • Rich UX (not necessarily “good” per se)

After reading, I had a strong feeling that definition is so important – I often refer to the Internet as “Web 2.0” with a very vague idea of what it really is and how it is different from its precursor (i.e., Web 1.0). Now, I have a much better understanding and reliable criteria that can help me to judge whether a digital product belongs to Web 2.0. That’s the power of a good definition and principles. At the same time, I also felt the need of a good analog, as it is easier for us to understand and remember relatively abstract ideas. So, as a foodie, I came up with this “potluck” analog for Web 2.0.

Why potluck? Because potluck means that everyone in the party can bring their food to the party, being a food provider and consumer at the same time. You don’t ever need to wait for the big Gatsby party, with a pre-determined party time and food prepared by a famous party host. Potluck party is really a platform for each individual to present their food, which makes the party much flexible, diverse, and light-weight. At the same time, you can tell the trend of cuisines as well as the season in a big potluck party: peaches are served in many dishes? it’s highly possible that the summer is here. Almond flour is frequently used instead of all-purpose flour? Gluten-free must be in vogue. Last but not the least, you got exposed to very rich flavor of different dishes/choices (e.g., Chinese dishes, Mediterranean dishes, and South American dishes at the same time), but no one guarantees good tastes across the big party.

It’s hard to say no to such a comprehensive and fun party. No matter big or small, you usually bring something to the party (could be an appetizer, a main dish, or a dessert). However, it’d better be a good piece of your work: once it is in the party, people will take a look at it and taste it; so be sure to prepare and offer something proper and nice, and don’t get your personal brand as a good cook smeared.