Now that you have seen meme definitions in my post before, it seems it's closely related to biology. But in IT context, it's quite the same. Those who didn't cooperate and open for feedbacks, can't survive for long. Now the keywords in meme are: natural selections, mutation, cooperations, feedbacks.
Note: This terms open can't be mixed with open source models. Is open source really open? According to David Berlind's ZDNet, open source is not exactly true, since you have to read the fine print in each licensing model, either GPL, LGPL, or many others. I'll leave this for you to decide, but the open source is not open. Model of open means everyone can develop using it, not everyone can develop it. Often, since everyone can develop using it, leads to approval of standards body such as ecma or ISO. But in web 2.0 models, APIs has to evolve quickly or prepare to be left by its users.
Memes, can be considered as APIs that in the long term, has to survive. Beside open, meme has to be able to cope with other feedbacks, just like other open standards. There are many APIs out there, but few are really open. There are some open APIs, but not quite willing to cooperate with others and somehow difficult to use. But meme can also be considered as the organic living things behind the APIs, the developer itself.
According to Wikipedia:
Although memeticists speak of memes as discrete units, this need not imply that thoughts somehow become quantized or that "atomic" ideas exist which one cannot break down into smaller pieces. The meme as a unit simply provides a convenient way of discussing "a piece of thought copied from person to person", regardless of whether that thought contains others inside it, or forms part of a larger meme. A meme could consist of a single newly-coined word, or a meme could consist of the entire speech in which that word was first uttered. The "word itself" meme will most likely survive many more generations (after transmission alone or in other sentences) than the "speech in its entirety" meme will survive (due to errors of memory, abridged versions, etc.)
This fits into openness, collaborative, and willing to cooperate with others to produce new breeds. But this form of collaborative can also be in the form of mergers and acquisition.
These are the current contexts of meme:
- APIs users and developers
- concept behind the APIs (often mentioned as one with the APIs)
Real samples of collaborations, participations:
- Google buys Youtube. Google then will provide its famous search engine (including APIs) to Youtube, while Youtube video contents will directly benefit the vast line of social networkings that Google already has, such as Blogger, Adsense, Google Calendar, and already collaborated with EVDB.
- Mashupcamp, a camp for mashup developers and also users. These cooperations and collaborations have given birth to the next generation of web not just web 2.0, but also net neutral democratizations concept, new mashups, and also encouraging many users to try each other mashups.
- BarCamp, a place where you can talk about any web ideas and also exchanging ideas. What is more interesting here, the founders of BarCamp are known experts of web. Although Barcamp is a product of FOOCamp, it's gaining more attentions than FOOCamp.
The explosion of Barcamp
Barcamp is a special case. In here, you'll find known experts such as:
- Tantek Çelik (former Microsoft employee and also the original developer of IE 5 for Mac and Trident IE engine), also one of CSS3 author of W3C
- Dave Winer, father of blog
- Ryan King, CEO of Technorati
- Eddie Codel, the man behind Geekentertainment.tv
- Anne Van Kesteren, Opera
- Nima Dilmaghani, Microsoft employee
Another cool thing is, Barcamp is sponsored by:
Microsoft (yes, it is! What about Microsoft Indonesia?)
local bars are also getting promoted by having their places visited by 'Barcampers' that quite famous
The barcamp mission statement is interesting too:
BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees. To attend, you have to give demo and help others to give demo and share ideas.
Barcamp has been held on many cities in US, India, Australia, Switzerland, and many other countries. Even the original Barcampers are willing to come to Indonesia, if we have the sponsors and infrastructures to create one. At the end of each Barcamp sessions, the Barcampers always says "Organize your own Barcamp!". And this fun enlightment has proven to be the best way of sharing ideas, and those business entities involved in Barcamp still continue to compete each other and sharing each other ideas.
Simplicity pays off
Google APIs, are using simple JSON and REST as a machanism to use. There are many other APIs that use SOAP, but the burden is often at the server side, due to SOAP nature itself. Compared to other APIs such as CGIs and other C scriptings (even ISAPI or NSAPI), it's not quite open to use and users simply cannot have feedbacks. Therefore, support for loosely coupled is highly needed, not just using tightly coupled model of CGIs.
Feedback acceptances and consequences
Feedbacks are not just the usage result of the API, but it's also on the development usage of the API and also the usage by the developer himself. So, the keywords here, users are also developers, just like Barcamp and Mashupcamp.
Now that you have quite the overview and the detail of meme, here's the short history about web 2.0, taken from Tim O'Reilly and from others such as Wikipedia. I'll explain it also why I have to explain what is meme first.
Conceptual history behind web 2.0: Google, Netscape and Microsoft
If Netscape was the standard bearer for Web 1.0, Google is most certainly the standard bearer for Web 2.0, if only because their respective IPOs were defining events for each era. So let's start with a comparison of these two companies and their positioning.
Netscape framed "the web as platform" in terms of the old software paradigm: their flagship product was the web browser, a desktop application, and their strategy was to use their dominance in the browser market to establish a market for high-priced server products. Control over standards for displaying content and applications in the browser would, in theory, give Netscape the kind of market power enjoyed by Microsoft in the PC market. Much like the "horseless carriage" framed the automobile as an extension of the familiar, Netscape promoted a "webtop" to replace the desktop, and planned to populate that webtop with information updates and applets pushed to the webtop by information providers who would purchase Netscape servers.
In the end, both web browsers and web servers turned out to be commodities, and value moved "up the stack" to services delivered over the web platform.
Google, by contrast, began its life as a native web application, never sold or packaged, but delivered as a service, with customers paying, directly or indirectly, for the use of that service. None of the trappings of the old software industry are present. No scheduled software releases, just continuous improvement. No licensing or sale, just usage. No porting to different platforms so that customers can run the software on their own equipment, just a massively scalable collection of commodity PCs running open source operating systems plus homegrown applications and utilities that no one outside the company ever gets to see.
At bottom, Google requires a competency that Netscape never needed: database management. Google isn't just a collection of software tools, it's a specialized database. Without the data, the tools are useless; without the software, the data is unmanageable. Software licensing and control over APIs--the lever of power in the previous era--is irrelevant because the software never need be distributed but only performed, and also because without the ability to collect and manage the data, the software is of little use. In fact, the value of the software is proportional to the scale and dynamism of the data it helps to manage.
Google's service is not a server--though it is delivered by a massive collection of internet servers--nor a browser--though it is experienced by the user within the browser. Nor does its flagship search service even host the content that it enables users to find. Much like a phone call, which happens not just on the phones at either end of the call, but on the network in between, Google happens in the space between browser and search engine and destination content server, as an enabler or middleman between the user and his or her online experience.
<My own note: the previous paragraph clearly defines one of Google intentions: enabling and encouraging user participations, not disabling it.>
While both Netscape and Google could be described as software companies, it's clear that Netscape belonged to the same software world as Lotus, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and other companies that got their start in the 1980's software revolution, while Google's fellows are other internet applications like eBay, Amazon, Napster, and yes, DoubleClick and Akamai.
For Microsoft, in each of its past confrontations with rivals, Microsoft has successfully played the platform card, trumping even the most dominant applications. Windows allowed Microsoft to displace Lotus 1-2-3 with Excel, WordPerfect with Word, and Netscape Navigator with Internet Explorer.
This time, though, the clash isn't between a platform and an application, but between two platforms, each with a radically different business model: On the one side, a single software provider, whose massive installed base and tightly integrated operating system and APIs give control over the programming paradigm; on the other, a system without an owner, tied together by a set of protocols, open standards and agreements for cooperation.
Windows represents the pinnacle of proprietary control via software APIs. Netscape tried to wrest control from Microsoft using the same techniques that Microsoft itself had used against other rivals, and failed. But Apache, which held to the open standards of the web, has prospered. The battle is no longer unequal, a platform versus a single application, but platform versus platform, with the question being which platform, and more profoundly, which architecture, and which business model, is better suited to the opportunity ahead.
Windows was a brilliant solution to the problems of the early PC era. It leveled the playing field for application developers, solving a host of problems that had previously bedeviled the industry. But a single monolithic approach, controlled by a single vendor, is no longer a solution, it's a problem. Communications-oriented systems, as the internet-as-platform most certainly is, require interoperability. Unless a vendor can control both ends of every interaction, the possibilities of user lock-in via software APIs are limited.
Any Web 2.0 vendor that seeks to lock in its application gains by controlling the platform will, by definition, no longer be playing to the strengths of the platform.
This is not to say that there are not opportunities for lock-in and competitive advantage, but we believe they are not to be found via control over software APIs and protocols. There is a new game afoot. The companies that succeed in the Web 2.0 era will be those that understand the rules of that game, rather than trying to go back to the rules of the PC software era.
Therefore, social networking and user participation = highly survived meme. It flows thru cultural representation in the form of user participation, refinements, collaborations, and also willingness to share. Sound too good to be true? Barcamp is the fact, and it's been around for more than a year.
At least, for now, these thing happens:
Microsoft is sponsoring many developer events, including Barcamp, not just MSDN events which is Microsoft centric
At the port25
, Microsoft is hosting thousands of workstations and servers running Linux and UNIX, also collaborating with IE arch rivals, FireFox.
Microsoft is also recognizing web as a platform, not just pushing Windows everywhere. It tries to beat "Google Galaxy" by offering many facets of social web and immersive media, such as Live Spaces
, Live Q n A
, Live Mail, and Microsoft's video sharing of Soapbox.
Many new applications are here at the rate of 1.2 to 1.3 new APIs everyday and 2.2 new mashup everyday, and they are keep growing!
So, what do you think? Please give me comments, rants, corrections or suggestions. It's very important for me! Otherwise I'll have no clues about continuing to write this series. Remember, feedbacks. So too damn important, heheh. :)
For more about meme and memetics, a new science discipline, a controversial new field that transcends psychology, biology, anthropology, and cognitive science, read the book of Virus of the mind by Richard Brodie (Richard Brodie is the original developer of Microsoft Word!).
Next: Mashups, Monetizations, Semantic web.
Where shall I begin? Truly not since the birth of the Internet! But, it's not far from there. First, we need to know about the business models and the implementations. Also the tools they produce. So, I've decided to explain the power factor first.
The Power Factors
Meme (read:miim), is a special concept behind web 2.0, and this underlines all of the other power factors. The definition of meme according to Wikipedia is so cryptic and quite takes some time to understand. So then, what is meme?
Definition: Meme is a unit of a (context) data or information that flows from one entity ro another. Actually, from the wikipedia, meme is a flow of genetic information from one entity to another, in accordance with current biology principle of Natural Selection and Evolution. This term first coined by Richard Dawkins, an eminent British ethologist, evolutionary theorist, and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.
Now, since we live in seas of data and information, let's just consider it as a single contextual: data. Also this is a blogs in context of IT, right? :)
But meme flows not just an ordinary data, but it flows thru a natural mechanism, and it can be varied with others, and also mutated onto other things that can be different, although not totally different.
I've drawn a simple illustration of this:
So, in conclusion, a meme is also can be explained in these facts:
Very strongly related to our understanding of how the life form survives and makes collaborations to others
Can undergo a various mutations, with influence from other sources such as other data sources. Sample of this is obvious when you're combining data from EVDB
and Google Maps
. There are even some talk between the executives from EVDB and Google in order to have joint development of a new mashup of Event database and Google Maps.
Mutations can be in form of continuous influence from external factors and these can be likely, since user participations are highly expected.
The end result/form can be in a combination of mutations and variations, usually in forms of mashup data.
As a result from external influences, these can also bring negative feedbacks, therefore the meme cannot survive for a long time, since it needs to grow more and also develop into better form. The future of the meme can be in the form of Dead 2.0
! I'll try to explain this after the power factor.
As Richard Dawkins said about variations:
"all life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities..."
Quite interesting, guys! Isn't it? Anyway, comments are welcome! :)
Next: Meme in more details and the history of web 2.0
Everybody goes on rave on Web 2.0, not including the too much overhyped web 3.0. Is it Web 2.0 has over hyped itself? Is it just an implementation of AJAX in form of interactive web pages and rich applications? No. I myself is interested while also too tired after researching and studying it. There is no official explanation about this. I will help you explain this.
First, let me tell you what Web 2.0 is all about. According to Tim O'Reilly explanation of web 2.0, Web 2.0 is basically a new generation of web that began surfacing with the advents of Google services such as Google Adsense and notably the very popular, Google Maps, not to mention the advent of Digg,com and Technorati, and then the rising consideration of microformats.
Below is the meme map from Tim O'Reily explanations:
After I read Tim's article, it's quite confusing for me. Since Tim only described mostly conceptual overview of Web 2.0. Maybe some of you will help me to explain to me? I'd be glad to! History of web 2.0? More on this later.
From AdaptivePath, web 2.0 is more detailed, but still leave more questions than Tim's map.
This roadmap are taken from Experience Attributes: Crucial DNA of Web 2.0
See this as a PDF file.
Phew.. this is getting rough on my head...
The Current Rise and Fall
As for me, Web 2.0 is just a genre of web as a platform and generations in 2001 to 2007 (possibly beyond) that harness the power of:
- social web, which focuses on participations and collaborations, then brings the parts of democracy
- this social web brings many wikis, in the form of trusted participations (first appearances of wiki requires only registered and selected user chosen by the creator of wiki, and this is untrusted)
- user-centered data (users have the control of their own data to be presented), therefore user behaviors cannot be determined (emergent)
- Therefore brings the concept of decentralization since the resource, not just data, can also be shared for other users
- tagging is more preferred than taxonomy (since users can deliberately group their data)
- More mixes of immersive media, not just text and pictures, as a single view of data
- Many new borns of web APIs that are freely available and constantly refining themselves based on user feedback, since APIs are evolving according to user participation and usages, therefore it's also hackable. The more usage and participations, the better they will become and survive competitions.
- Software can be delivered in terms of mashup of many web APIs (this will be an advanced display of 2005s and beyond web 2.0 sites). In this context, the web API can be defined as a component forming a mashup web application, just like Tim's web 2.0 meme map.
- The rises of mini or micro communities that participation and collaboration based, such as BarCamp, SXSW. These communities exchange thoughts and ideas, they can be big companies like Microsoft and Sun. More into this later.
- The not so new economic model of Long Tail, as a consequences of massive user participations and collaborations of social web
- Also brings Rich user experiences after welcoming more and more APIs into interactive and real time manner without distracting users (especially changing pages that require HTTP Request postbacks), using the old technology of XMLHTTPRequest.
Other general consequences:
- Since they are competitions among APIs, then there comes natural selections of tags, and even web APIs. These natural selection are quite the same as the theory of natural selection by Darwin. An example of this? The INDC tag clouds! :). This can be harnessed into other things, such as measuring company's employee blogs (and the public comments) as an indicator of their true competence and honesty, assuming the company allows you to do blogging. Also, more on this, later.
- Also comes along a form of "mutation" of web APIs. The existing APIs are often combined and refined into new kinds of APIs,
- The rise of semantic web. HTML, especially XHTML, should be seen as coded as semantic context, to be more usable and accessible, not just as a presentational. More on this on my blog entry of "semantic web".
At this point, I welcome comments, rants, suggestions, and questions from you, guys!
Next: The history and power factors of web 2.0