The Greatest Failure of Web 2.0

Even though I love the Web 2.0 movement and applications, there is by far a shortcoming on this movement that keeps it from being adopted by many. That issue is one of interoperability.

Current Solutions

Let’s say I have a set up of Office 2.0 applications. I love all of them for specific reasons; some are stronger in some points than others. Now let’s say I want to integrate these applications together. In order to get my Zoho Word Processor to work my del.icio.us I only do one thing. Either I can use their respective APIs and try and create a mashup, but that still want provide the opportunity for them to talk together the way I want them to, but that will result in quite a mess as I add more applications. Or I could submit a request and wait for ever and a day until the “beta” stage clears and then maybe they’ll respond.

Even inside Zoho I cannot get the spreadsheet, word processing, and presentation application to talk together. Even though it is promised you would think that would be at the top of the list.

RSO and Web 2.0

RSO (reduced sign on) is also something that Web 2.0 suffers from. Even though personal portal pages like Netvibes and Pageflakes helps this process, it doesn’t offer the solution. This is especially true, because I can have documents listed in a portal page, but to edit it I have to go to that respective application (there are some that you can edit in the portal page, but then you lose out on some of the functionality).

Unrelated Diversification as an Answer?

There is the possiblity of companies vying to use unrelated diversification, but the major problem with that strategy is that it can get away from the companies’ market niche. Imagine if Flickr all the sudden got into the web form building business like Wufoo! The reason so many Web 2.0 companies have become successful is because they have chosen one thing to excel at and accomplished it.

The Road Ahead

The average CEO or other management person could care less about Web 2.0. I could show him some of the applications, but I know that he/she is going to ask: So, how does this work with my Outlook? Stupid Outlook.

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