As Dave will confirm, before we embarked upon Elgg I had an idea for a book called The Internet is People about running a web business. The thesis was that the only web businesses that would ever succeed were ones that looked at the Internet as a collection of people who wanted to communicate with each other, and would facilitate that to some degree.
I’ve lately been kicking myself for not writing it, because my hypothesis has been proven correct. Since then we’ve been introduced to the concept of Web 2.0, which was defined by Reid Hoffman yesterday at the Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford conference as follows:
Web 1.0 is read-only and sorted by flat directories.
Think AltaVista, a search engine that ranked pages purely according to the words on each page in a vaccum, or Yahoo, which employed teams of people to fit submitted pages into a giant taxonomy.
Web 2.0 is read-write and sorted by networks.