Help Us With a Web 2 Tagline

This year will mark the third annual Web 2.0 conference. It's not till November (the 7th-9th in SF, for anyone marking their calendars), but it's never too early to start thinking about it, at least, if you're the program chair like I am. One thing we have to do…

Web205Logo-5This year will mark the third annual Web 2.0 conference. It’s not till November (the 7th-9th in SF, for anyone marking their calendars), but it’s never too early to start thinking about it, at least, if you’re the program chair like I am.

One thing we have to do is give the conference a tagline, sort of like a theme in four words or less. The first year, we declared “The Web Is a Platform.” That felt spot on, because the idea of the web as a place you could build on the work of others was a pretty new idea. Last year we tagged it “Revving the Web,” because it was all about the services and businesses and opportunities that arose from the Web – all of which taken together made the web more robust and more exciting.

This year Tim and I have been bouncing around some ideas, and I’d love your take on what you think is an overarching theme to the Internet business for the year to come.

I’ve got one that I can’t seem to get out of my teeth, so as with all things, I wanted to bounce it off you all. I think this is the year of Disruption – the year the Web – in all its forms – really flexes its muscle and begins to seriously turn the soil of the global economy in deep and permanent ways. Think of the disruptions in the media and entertainment industries – probably the deepest disruptions so far. But we’re only in the first inning or so of the disruptions in the mobile and communications space (how excited do YOU think AT&T is about Google offering free Wifi, for example? Or eBay buying Skype?). And the disruptions of search and clickstreams on commerce is only now beginning, and the same is true for the massive IT industry (Microsoft Live, anyone?). And the disruption on our cultural life – in government, for example (can you say warrantless wiretaps meets the Database of Intentions?) – is only beginning to dawn on all of us.

What do you think of the theme? The goal is to tie together a lot of issues, companies,and ideas. I think this one does it. What themes do you think might work?

62 thoughts on “Help Us With a Web 2 Tagline”

  1. I like the idea of disruption in terms that it suggests that the promise of the web is going to start changing the way people live. But I think my theme for this year is “It’s Almost Working.”

    Finally all the promises of the web are close to becoming practicalities. Right now everyone is offering mobile functionality because they understand they need to. This can be the year that these limited functionalities start to work.

    Non-hierarchical editorial systems, in which I’d include both digg and myspace, are so simple and instantaneously rewarding for users that current information based on the “wisdom of crowds” is out there on any topic a user wants it. When these intelligences get hooked into all of the precision and relevance offered by companies like Google, we can then drop the “almost” part. Because then the web will finally be working.

  2. Web 2.0 – “The gimmicky buzzword for fools”

    Oh sweet Web 2.0, if only you had ever existed. There’s no Web 2.0, just the continuation of innovation on the Internet. This whole 2.0 business is silly. It’s a joke among my colleagues – we constantly talk about the next ‘Web 2.0.3’ and how everything is going to plain text and svg.

  3. I think Disruption is fine, John, but isn’t it a wee bit 1998? Sure, things are getting nice and bumpy for old guard players out there, but hasn’t the Disruption-as-theme drum been beaten to death at this point? Simple example for illustration: Amazon to book selling: a Fortune-et-al Disruption cover story how long ago now, and how many times? The topic feels a bit done to death, no?

    Personally, I’d like to see you spin up something a bit more provocative as relates to Web 2.0. Like how all this stuff is — or can be — profitable, sustainable and matter to customers. How the super-dee-duper things people are mashing up etc. are real, value creating innovations which will actually make people’s lives better. A reality check rather than a rah-rah session, if you will.

    Throw down *that* gauntlet and see who picks it up. Now that would be worth paying to see.


  4. — Webolution Wevolution Webvolution

    — ReInnovating the Web

    — Anti-Tradition

    — Web Lifestyle

    — Intelligent Web

    — Changing the DNA of Communication

    One important ingredient would be to make the conference Virtual as well – what better illustration of Web 2 than to have global, virtual, real-time access to the conference. Including Questions and Answers in the various Workshops.

  5. I do like the disruption theme because I think you point out that we are in early innings in many areas. It’s less about realizing disruption will occur (which as SEW says we’ve known since 1998), but being able to see more clearly just how disruptive the Net is actually going to be and in what ways. I’d like to see the tagline reflect this, so things like “Disruption Unleashed”, “Disruption Revealed” or, to play off some of your words about soil, “Disruption Unearthed”.

  6. Disruption needs a positive word to balance it – how about Creative Disruption, or Sustainable Disruption? Also, if this year was Revving The Web, wouldn’t the next step be Driving The Web?

  7. – Beyond 2.0
    – Now That Everything’s Online
    – Thinking as a Global Brain
    – Out of Beta
    – Disruption Everywhere
    – Pondering Web 3.0
    – Updating the World
    – Living the Future
    – Naked Conversations
    – The Ubiquitous Web

  8. What about tagging and tag clouds as the next big thing for 2006? One of the last articles from Steve Rubel []was very bullish about “tagvertising”, and the FAQ from [] also puts on the table some interesting concepts.

  9. There’s something very potent around the concept of disruption … both positive and negative. One of the great disruptive aspects of the Internet is the democratization of publishing and exchange. While we all started talking about the idea 10 years ago (during the so-called web 1.0 cycle) it’s beginning to have profound impacts now. From examples in the private sector (e.g. F500 brands moving 20 – 30% of their 2006 media budgets online) to politics (young Arab protesters organizing via SMS text messages). I hope the conference also examines the disruptive influences on the ecosystem of the Internet – such as the proposed policies by the Baby Bells to charge content providers premium rates for higher speeds. Maybe there’s something around the concept of disruption and democratization, and the positive and negative impacts of both.

  10. I think we could call this “Web as Discovery”. This is the year that the Web is moving from a Direct Response/ Intent Medium to include the aspects of discovery that are focused ontagging, sharing, brand advertisers shifting awareness dollars online, etc.

    This is the most profound transition to expect this year.

  11. What about “The 2.0nd Wave”?

    The term “wave” has been used by some advocates of globalisation as that which will lift all boats. However, the wave can also sink some boats, and flood others causing major disruptions to the economy and social welfare. The key to using a wave analogy is due to its unpredictability, causing both positive and negative impacts.

  12. in a sweet mood of co-operation:
    web 2.0, technology catches-up with users intent
    or something like that…
    web 2.0, the web the way you want it…the web the way we meant.

  13. I find Web 2.0 the opposite of disruptive for me as an individual. This time around, I can be a participant and player whereas last time I was just a consumer. Web 2.0 is disruptive to the big guys–to traditional news outlets and big companies, for instance–because it gives power to individuals. Something like “power to the people” or “powered by the people” captures my experience of Web 2.0.

  14. Web 2.0 – “Transforming the World One Industry at a Time”

    As an attendee of the first two Web2.0 conferences, I agree with your line of thought in favor of “Disruption” as a theme. However, I am concerned that outsiders may not get it and even see it as a somewhat negative spin. We should look for a tagline that encapsulates the concept of disruption, but that is easier to digest for everyone else.

    My proposed tagline (which could be shortened) commands the attention of even those who are still skeptic about the disruptive qualities of the Web.

    The first Web2.0 was very conceptual and also inspirational (for me it was an awakening). In the second, we experienced hands-on and discussed the new features and possibilities of the Web. I believe that will see it all come together in 2006. Hopefully, this year’s conference will focus on the economic shift of the disruptive Web and put an end to the idea that this is a second bubble.

    Hey, whatever the tagline is, I will be there.

  15. I feel ‘disruption’ is more a promise than a reality for 2006 John, so it might be appropriate if that’s the intent.

    I was wondering tho it is was worthwhile getting rid of “web 2.0” altogether, and let it go the way the ‘e’ in ebusiness or etail went.

    if you were to do that, your conference tag can be set really free

    all the best, J

  16. I am also leaning toward a word or phrase to go with “disruption.” To me, it is like a horse that won many races early on, and everyone was betting on her, then she stumbled big time, and is now back, and the question is more in the lines of “Does She Have Legs?”

    I too wonder if the web has the impact we think, will the big corporations (Yahoo, Google, eBay) be that much different than those that controlled most the media previously. Is this just new businesses taking over, or a change in how busienss is done to a more people-centered, transparent approach? I hope the latter.

    Seems tagging sites like Flickr and user choice sites like Digg are some of the latest waves. Human-powered search if you well.

    But I think the overall feeling is one of both hope and fear. Hope by the success of Google and the like, but fear of falling again, and wondering how many sites can really make it strictly on advertising, particularly for a web population that does not at all like to pay for its content.

  17. Personally, I’m most inclined to agree with Jon Henshaw. Love your blog, John, and I know you feature some fascinating and fun stuff at your conferences that I can’t afford, but I still think the “Web 2.0” moniker is laughable at best.

    With that said, here are a few ideas for your tagline:

    – Web 2.0… just a few months from Web 2.01!
    – Web 2.0… someday we’ll actually make money!
    – Web 2.0… using others’ content for our geeksturbation.
    – Web 2.0… I know there’s a business model in here somewhere!
    – Web 2.0… because Web 1.5 just sounded lame.
    – Web 2.0… buy the t-shirt!

    and last but not least…

    – Web 2.0… please buy us! Pretty please?!!!!

  18. Disruption is a good theme.

    That said, it is a theme that has been recycled numerous times in the past ten years. The web has been all about disruption. This is the age of disruption, and the Internet has been the engine of disruption.

    Another theme could be the about The Shrinking World. Much of the growth is overseas, not in the US. The increasing interconnectedness is continuing to make the known world much smaller, the personalization kick companies are on will start to make the big web seem smaller in 2006, governments and companies will track individuals even more closely, and more consolidation in the industry will happen.

  19. John. I like disruption, because from our research it is the one truly unifying theme behind all aspects of web2.0.

    I think this next phase is all about moving beyond “cool tech” or “new business models” and taking what we have refining it, positioning it in the market and executing:

    “Wheat from the Chaff”
    “From Lab to Riches”
    “Web 2.0 needs business models, business models need web2.0”
    “Ideas are cheap”

    Or how about
    “The Europeans are coming” (Disclaimer this is obviously something I have an interest in!).

  20. I like Brian’s World Wireless Web
    In my view the fastest acceleration in the internet world is happening across mobile and other wireless technologies. This is where serious disruption is going to be happening. Some truly amazing mobile mashing apps will appear soon. Smaller and smaller gps chips are being developed at lower cost. The practical applications here are going to change the way people communicate and shop around the world.
    But there sure is a ring to The Disruptive Web. Or
    The Rampant Web
    Mobile Disruption
    Wicked Wireless Web
    Wireless Disruption

  21. My suggestion is Synergies for Disruption.

    Obviously, I agree that disruption is a key theme. However I feel that real Web2.0 disruptions will come from synergies. (Ex. TiVO+Yahoo! or Cisco/KiSS or Google+AOL or Apple+(?) in home entertainment -via RSS-based subscription services?).

    Now that I think of it, how about Disruptive Mix?

  22. hi,

    Based on Panayotis’s comments; how about “Symbiotic Disruption”. And as someone else mentioned; that the coming year is going to be all about tagging, personalization, publishing, democracy, lack of privacy etc. etc.; so here are a few more :-

    Personalized Disruption
    Tagging Disruption
    Democratized Disruption
    Disrupting Privacy

    Or how about “Seamless Integration”; given that media will now flow across all these devices – cellphones,
    laptops, Tv etc. seamlessly and transparently.


  23. What does the Database of Intention, social networking, aggregation of reader-ranked links (e.g., Digg), blogging, podcasting, vlogging, microformats, and all the Web 2.0 developments have in common?

    Connecting people.

    So how about this as a tagline:

    Web 2.0
    Connecting Global Consciousness

  24. John, this is “The Year of Contribution”. The web originally was viewed as a tool for accessing/acquiring/consuming. Web 2.0 now means that personal contribution is beginning to overtake the original uses of the Web.

  25. Perhaps the single most identifying characteristic of successful Web 2.0 innovations, yet often overlooked, is their simplicity and almost anti-technical aesthetic or interface design qualities. It’s as if one could pick 2.0 from 1.0 in a line up, with only the logo/homepage to identify them (not always true of course).

    The notion of disruption is a poignant one, and it seems to say something about the loose historical moment when the internet made the 1.0 to 2.0 turn – 2001 (I’m thinking of the way sept.11 disrupted many “taken for granted” traditions and dated econ/consumer/design models).

    It seems to me that Web 2.0 is not disrupting, or at least not publicly, but rather rebuilding or revising how the internet looks and feels. The success of 2.0 is that users, not just tech savvy users but the ordinary variety as well, embrace and trust it. Something in line with “How the internet looks now,” or “re-seeing the world wide web,” bears a light on this issue. In the same vein, you could also promote your conference similarly to how a 2.0 site would. Something like “Weby 2.0,” or “WeB TwO PoInT Oh.”


  26. John Battelle is the proprietor of Searchblog, author of The Search: and one of the principals behind the Web 2.0 Conference thing.

    He writes;

    This year will mark the third annual Web 2.0 conference.

    John needs some help here as he writes;

    One thing we have to do is give the conference a tagline, sort of like a theme in four words or less.

    In the spirit of Web 2.0 which is about dialog I offer the following;

    Here is your new tagline….
    Web 2.0 – The Two of Us

    Web 2.0 is about dialogue.

    You may have missed the memo. I wrote Last Year. This is the Executive Summary:

    Web 2.0 is about dialogue.

    Running with Memes

    Executives love Executive Summaries. It validates their Executiveness. Scannable, short, meme rich. The implication is that Executives are somehow superhuman and can make connections faster and extend a meme into a universe of meaning and relevance somehow faster than mere mortals who are toiling in the fields.

    The primary purpose of an Executive Summary is to present a precis of information so that said executive can use their superhuman powers of intelligence, reasoning, and good hair to determine if the information provided requires time and thought. Unfortunately, Executive Summaries are staffed out.

    This creates a opening for conference providers to make a marketing pitch by creating an Executive Summary for another This is The Only Conference You Need to Attend!, Join the Bleeding Edge!, Damage Control Without Tears!, etc., Conference.

    The ouroborus elegance of these things is amazing.

  27. From the bitter, paranoid end of things:

    mashup or f**k off.
    Hands off, Hollywood!

    More reasonably:
    Detect, Connect, Effect.

  28. i’m with brian and chris – ‘mobile’ should be the focus (of course)

    – ‘the web (finally) goes mobile’

    mobile – mobile devices
    wireless – wlan, wireless voip

    if you want that prediction to finally happen, this is how ot goad folks towards it for 2007! 🙂

  29. How about “Disruption and Corruption” or at least “Disruption and the Counterattack”. The RBOCs are not taking kindly to being disrupted. They’ve proposed an unworkable scheme of multiple service tiers which will “disrupt” the Internet in a non-constructive way. Don’t know whether they are clever enough to know the scheme won’t work but they are politically powerful enough to protect their majority share of the broadband duopoly (hence “corruption”).

    Also on the being-disrupted list is traditional publishing, even fiction.

    Net, I think disruption is an excellent theme and there ought to be sessions on the counter-attacks of the disrupted.

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