It's an Ensayo Thing

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2006-12-20 Print this article Print

Promiscuous use of the label "Web 2.0" is the hallmark of the entrepreneurial developer who's going "ftw" -- "for the win," in Web game parlance.

"Web 2.0" is often spoken in the same breath, as if it were what the Spaniards call the "calidad" (the essential quality) of the interactive model often called "Ajax" -- which is not an acronym, according to its own coiner, but was merely suggested by the combination of asynchronous JavaScript plus XML. You could use a different scripting language, and a different data disclosure and repurposing notation, and still be writing "Ajax" applications -- but none of those technical choices would make your work an automatic exemplar of "Web 2.0."

The Spaniards have another word for the kind of discourse that collects around the "2.0" label: they call it "ensayo," the defense of a personal and subjective point of view without either documentation or even a systematic framework for the discussion. (I got the es.wikipedia page translated for me by SYSTRAN) "It's Web 2.0 because I say so" would be another way of putting it, but saying "I think it right to offer an ensayo argument" sounds much more erudite.

At this point, though, I need to let you in on the joke. What you've been reading is a sort of Mad Lib: I began with the list of Google's most often requested definitions of terms during 2006 and attempted to put them together, in order beginning at #1 -- heaven help us, "promiscuous" was followed by "Web 2.0" on that list -- in sentences that actually made sense. I got all the way to #6 before I decided I'd pulled your leg hard enough, and I think that I hope I succeeded -- but I'm kind of shocked that it wasn't a whole lot harder to do.

Let's hope that what we care about in 2007 has a lot more substance than this. |

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