We are all intimately familiar with Web 2.0 and all its tenants. Maybe not ALL its tenants, because there still may be a few still lurking waiting to be uncovered. But I digress. This new focus in communication has been very exciting, and has brought a completely new layer of importance to the Web. But I for one am very much looking forward to Web 2.5. What is that you may ask? By no means is that an official term, but to me it represents the normalization that occurs, and the separating of philosophy or approach from execution that tends to happen with big "waves" of innovation on the Web.
Web 2.0 often equates to "community" in the minds of many. It's easy to do. The connection is very strong, but it is not true. Online "community" has become the new portal. Remember that? The days of every brand/company wanting to become THE portal for their industry or area of expertise? Problem with that was any given company was never the all encompassing owner of their industry, and with everyone calling users to their site to find every resource they could ever want on a topic, it diluted everyones' messages. Even worse, users often didn't get the information they really were looking for. Sometimes, they just wanted to find a phone number, not every resource link on the topic of medical supplies.
The same is happening now. I hear it every day. "We want our site to be THE community people can go to talk about foot odor. We want message boards and blogs to offer to our users!" Really? Will people really be looking to you Foot Powder brand to supply an avenue to talk to others? Maybe. Most likely not. Just because we are living Web 2.0 doesn't mean that every application that is related is a solution.
But, the portal demand diminished when people realized it wasn't the portal users wanted, it was more and related information, organized in a way to help them save time. The same will happen with Web 2.0. Web 2.0 will be divorced from its connection to community when the light bulb goes on that it may not be message boards people want, but rather a seat at the table in the discussion, and insight into peer pulse. Will communities go extinct? Absolutely not, but I believe Web 2.0 will begin to reach further into the realm of driving factor, rather than tactical implementations.
Think "Web 2.5" is copyrighted?