What’s the biggest change in the web from 2000 to today?

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been exploring an idea I had. Turned out I didn’t invent any wheel. Someone has already though about it, and quite some time ago. In fact, about a decade ago. A year or two later the idea got dumped, as so many other very good ideas had when the Internet bubble of 2000 burst and exploded.  Some venture investors are licking their wounds of that bubble to this day.

But it got me thinking, about all these fantastic ideas. Some have preceded their time in many ways. Does the fact that these companies collapsed with that bubble wave 9 or 8 years ago mean that the ideas should be erased for ever too?

Could it be that the current web era would enable a rebirth of old ideas into a better and sustainable web environment?
The first to answer me was Jeff Pulver: “I think with many things timing is everything. And what those ventures did not have the benefit of was either 3G on the mobile side or widespread availability of broadband on the laptop side. Connectivity is key and sometimes ahead of the vision.”

I began by twitting the following question: What is the biggest change that happened to the web over the past 8-9 years?

I got the following @lemino replies:

http://twitter.com/tonepedia “Noise”

http://twitter.com/YoavPerry started with “Mobility” then changed to “Portability

http://twitter.com/ezrabutler “People”

http://twitter.com/rami_hascal “Spectrum”

http://twitter.com/stampergr “Bandwidth”

http://twitter.com/wmchamberlain “Conversation”

http://www.linkedin.com/in/gillesrapp “Google”

Of course there is no one answer to this question. All of these are true. Though I do believe that bandwidth has probably paved the way to noise, people, conversation, spectrum and even Google and Wikipedia, which I’d also add to this list.

The exception on this list is ‘portability‘. What makes it special, in my view, is that it is still very much in development with a long long way to go. It encompasses wi-fi mobility and mobile phones web surfing, while the latter is still in diapers and bears the promise of a better, more accessible, future. But what’s even more promising in “portability” is the ability to have content and applications fed into the user’s favorite destination, rather then have users go to a single web site for each interaction they desire.

Instantaneous information anywhere. Like in this visionary venture being developed by Pranav Mistry and Pattie Maes of MIT Media Labs:

So,what do YOU perceive as the biggest change in the web from the 2001 bubble to today?

5 Comments to “What’s the biggest change in the web from 2000 to today?”

  1. It is worth mentioning that wide acceptance of the ‘portability of information’ concept combined with the concept of ‘Software as a Service’ had resulted in thinking that brought us sites that are essentially a new breed of online operating systems; Social networks with apps like Facebook, widget sites like iGoogle and NetVibes, and mobile platforms like the iPhone, Google’s G1 and Blackberry. More amazing is how these platform and the platforms unifying them together have directly connected 25% of internet users within 4 years with each other.

    Funny that a concept born of pre-2001 enterprise business need was adopted by consumer startups and was taken well beyond any enterprise business platform at the speed of light for consumers, where the gap for the corporate world still exist (and being filled by enterprise applications developed for iGoogle, Facebook and iPhone) – Talk about ideas that preceded their time.


  2. Are you talking about the SAAS concept (Software As A Service)?


  3. The idea of Software as a Service (SaaS) was an idea thought to be enterprise-ish and heavy in 2001. Enterprise didn’t bite, consumers did. Now enterprise is looking at the consumer apps that has developed thanks to is and think of them as the platform for its next generation of applications … can think of some examples…


  4. Or-Tal,

    Interesting question, with many right answers.
    In my view, the biggest change of the web from 2001 to 2009 are two-fold: internet access and conversation.

    I believe that the ‘explosion’ of internet access around the world, coupled with the desire of people to interact and connect made the difference between 2001 and now. People can connect from any device, at any time, and are more into making conversation than ‘participation’, which was the buzz word for start-ups in 2001.


  5. ווב 1.0 1995-2005 היה תוכן ישן בכלי חדש (או בטרמינולוגיה של מקלוהן: מסר ישן במדיה חדשה) לקחו טלוויזיה ובמקום להציגה על הטלוויזייה , שמו אותה במחשב. כך עשו במאמרי עיתון. ואז אחרי הבועה החלו להופיע הטוקבקים. טוקבק הוא יצור אינטרנטי טהור, שאין לו קיום בעיתון או בטלויזייה או בספר (דינוזאורים: טלוויזאור, עיתונוזאור ספרוזאור).

    ב2005-2015 הופיעו בבת אחת המון סוגי תכנים חדשים בכלים חדשים (המדיום הוא המסר) זהו ווב 2.0. עכשיו היגעתי לעיקר: האם יש גוויות מלפני בועת 2000, שאפשר להחיות בעידן אובמה שבו הנסד”ק יחצה את רף 4000 הנקודות? לדעתי לא. כי אפילו טים ברנרס לי לא ראה בבהירות את ווב 2.0 במאמרו הווב
    הסמנטי ב”סיינטיפיק אמריקן” בשנת 2000. אבל זה כבר סיפור אחר, ווב 3.0

    בווב 1.0 היו 4 סטארטפים ישראלים בליגה העולמית:
    מירביליס (ICQ), טופטיר (שי אגסי, האובמה העתידי של ישראל), צ’ק-פויינט, כרומטיס
    זה היה ב1995-2001 (7 השנים השמנות של חלום פרעה). מאז 2009-2009 אף סטארטפ ישראלי לא הצליח להתברג לליגה העולמית. למה?
    למה נפלו על ישראל 7 השנים הרזות של פרעה? כי ווב 2.0 הוא תרבות חדשה בכלים חדשים. תרבות האנטי-קונטרול, או תרבות הפלטפורמה, או בשפת החינוך תרבות המיומנויות. בתרבות הקונטרול, לא ניתן להתקדם בווב 2.0

    מי הן הסטארטפים בליגה העולמית ב2001-2009 שישראל לא הצליחה להתברג
    ביניהן? גוגל, דלישיוס, יוטיוב, טוויטר, פייסבוק, מייספייס, פליקר, דיג, טכנוראטי, סקנדלייף, למשל

    האם יבוא שינוי? לא נראה לי בעשור הקרוב. מה תפקיד החינוך בשינוי? מערכת החינוך בישראל מהיסודי עד האוניברסיטה לא יכולה לפתור את הבעייה, כי היא בעצמה מהווה בעייה שייש לפותרה.


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