If you’ve been anywhere near the Internet business community for the past  year, you’ve likely heard the term “Web 2.0”.  It’s become a sort of catch-all phrase for the web as an application platform (hasn’t it been for a long time?), and new stuff like flikr, flock and del.icio.us is being thrown into the pot.   (By the way, is it just me or is del.icio.us just the most stupid, awful URL known to mankind?)  

Well it turns out the origins of the term are pretty pedestrian.  Book publisher Tim O’Reilly was working with a tradeshow company and they were trying to name a new conference. 

So the entire Web 2.0 thing came out of a couple of people trying to name a tradeshow.

Now, I don’t blame Tim at all.  He was trying to figure out what the evolving web would look like.  But in the meantime, we’ve got people cropping up all over the place saying “Web 2.0” and the term has apparently evolved to mean “new stuff on the web”.  

From Paul Graham:

Tim says the phrase “Web 2.0” first arose in “a brainstorming session between O’Reilly and Medialive International.” What is Medialive International? “Producers of technology tradeshows and conferences,” according to their site. So presumably that’s what this brainstorming session was about. O’Reilly wanted to organize a conference about the web, and they were wondering what to call it.

Read Paul’s article here.

Alex Eckelberry

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