O'Reilly's Web 2.0 Principles (Wherein O'Reilly Morphs into Gartner, Forrester, Jupiter, et al)

Tim O'Reilly announces a new publication on the Radar blog:

I'm announcing a special report that I've been working on for the past few months with John Musser of fame, entitled Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices. John has taken my What is Web 2.0? paper and expanded on it, producing a detailed analysis of the Web 2.0 core principles that I outlined there and has specified best practices that are derived from them, a number of drill-down analyses of sites (including and flickr) to show how they apply those principles, and perhaps most importantly, a self-analysis tool.

Before I get started, I just want to say that if I sound cranky during any part of this post, maybe it's because Tim lets us know he's writing his post from Necker Island [warning: brutal, window-grabbing Flash site where Sir Richard brags about his private island], where he's briefing executives from the Virgin Group on Web 2.0-ness.

The nature of Tim's junket is one of the points I want to make about the new report (which was actually written, as Tim says, by John Musser): Musser and O'Reilly are taking the Web 2.0 message and using this report to tune it for a corporate audience, trying to clue the lumbering beasts of global business into how they can launch the next YouTube, MySpace, or Digg, or apply enjoy the fruits of Web 2.0 labor inside the enterprise.

If you've been engaged (either directly or as an interested observer) in the development of what people are calling Web 2.0 for any length of time, nothing in Musser's report should come as a surprise. At least, that's the sense I get from the report's executive summary (which is available for download), and from Dion Hinchcliffe's excellent run-down. So, to all the commenters to Tim's post, fretting at the cost of the report, I say "relax." If you're an entrepreneur with a burning desire to let fly your ideas in Web 2.0 form, you've probably internalized everything Musser and O'Reilly have said anyway.

No, this report isn't for the guy in the home office brewing up the next YouTube. This report's a cheat sheet for the very casually familiar but otherwise interested corporate decision-maker, tasked with competing with Mr Home Office. And in that context, it's pretty damn cheap. You could spend nearly as much for a quick four-page brief from a brand-name industry analyst like Forrester, and you'd certainly have to cough up far more (think thousands) for something that provided a thought-out framework and self-assessment model.

As for whether it's too early in the game to start making pronouncements on "best practices," that's an open question. Again, I've just scanned the ToC and the executive summary, but it would be fair to say that you won't be steered far wrong by Musser and O'Reilly. Perhaps we should just call them "good practices."

More than anything, the existence of this report is an indicator of how the Web 2.0 meme has evolved, and penetrated the consciousness of the corporate world.


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