For a long time I have been discussing whether web2.0 was a bubble or not. You can see my collection of bookmarks on this topic on delicious. Certainly there was an element of hype and irrational exuberance, especially after Google bought Youtube for more than 1 billion dollars. But certainly we’ve expected a burst that didn’t happen, for two main reasons: the reduced costs for running an internet company thanks to services such as Amazon A3; and because revenues were coming in thanks to the rise of online advertising.
Well now with such deep economic uncertainty, it looks like online advertising growth is slowing down . Remember, Google missed earnings in the previous quarters because of economic slowdown, and things certainly haven’t got better.
So I am very curious to see the next Google quarterly report, due mid October. I think the current climate of economic uncertainty has now risen to such a level that it could really affect internet business and create another visible burst, although not at the level of the DotCom bubble.

If there will be a bubble burst, it would be interesting to see if all the values and concepts of web2.0 will remain.
I have sometimes the feeling we’ve been living in a kind of spell over the last years, believing in the values of open innovation, users engagement, free services paid by advertising. And then we wake up to realize that this was just a passing fashion based on a positive economic trend, due to dissolve at the first strong economic difficulties. There have already been articles on the “end of innocence” of web 2.0.

If there won’t be a burst in the next months, then in my opinion the web2.0 model will have made a major step in showing its economic viability.

So I think the next months will be critical. Wait and see.

PS another reasons for looking an the next months is the presidential election in the US. Obama is web2.0, open innovation, users engagement – but also somehow lightweigh. McCain is the traditional approach. So in the election also we will see if and how much web2.0 matters.

PPSS I am getting so tired of the word web2.0. It’s meaningless, now. It’s the web tout court. If you look in Google Trends, web2.0 is in decline.

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