N-Dimensional Web 2.0

Many people are trying to define “Web 2.0” – what it is, what it means, how to build Web 2.0 apps, what makes a company a Web 2.0 company, etc. All of those efforts fall short, because Web 2.0 is n-dimensional. Web 2.0 is “reflecting more complex multivariable situations.1
Today I learned of a new dimension to Web 2.0. Chris2 invited me to join a beta of CollectiveX, a new Web 2.0-ish social widget. To invite someone you have to set a temporary password, and when they log in they change it to whatever they want. Chris set my password to “ratdoggy.” Ha! Now that’s a good one. This made me laugh out loud, and when I told Meg3 she lost it too. What’s so funny?
Well, it creates a strong but secret connection between the title of a recent post I wrote – wherein “maybe too much information” was offered4 – and an unrelated client task. Chris’ password was an acknowledgment that he read the post. Maybe even he liked it. And he certainly knew it would make me think of that post in the middle of the workday. But in any case “ratdoggy” is not in frequent usage (Google: “Did you mean: ratdog?”) and his reference expanded its sphere of influence.
Which is like a link, just not a web hyperlink. It was a link from one mind to another, from one blog post to a work moment, from a concert review to a social software login, from my original post written on a couch in the lobby of a cinderblock hotel in Charlestown to my colleague’s laughter at the password in an office building in Hanover, from all that to this post which you are reading now. Links, links, links, everywhere you look. Which makes me smile.
And that seems to be the common element of a Web 2.0 app – that it makes you smile, somehow, in some way that maybe you never have before.

1) An Introduction to Chemometrics. A report given as Session F of Educational Symposium No. 17, The Use of Statistical Methods in Formulating and Testing of Rubber at the 130th Meeting of the ACS Rubber Division by Brian A. Rock, Ph.D. in October, 1985.
2) Blog updated according to a complex precision timing schedule involving the highway, the moon, the clouds, and the stars.
3) I did not invoice for this minute of laughter, nor did the client utilize any official company time or resources in reaction to the laughter event.
4) Plausible Story, personal communication.

Now, how many new links can you find in the above footnotes?