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Stuck In Web 1.0-ville

The coolest image to make its rounds on t3h internets in awhile is a mashup (quick, somebody fund it!) of all “web 2.0” companies’ logos, and I have to admit it’s pretty snazzy at full resolution. Peek at its colorfulocity:

Lots of web 2.0 companies

Now I know what you might be saying are definitely not saying, and that is where is 9rules? Where is that 47-color leaf or flying dove with its wang out? Well 9rules readers, we are definitely not in that image. And I’ll tell you why: nobody knows what 9rules is! We’re not really a web application, however we do a lot of web app stuff. We’re more of a service than anything else, but the user need we are servicing is more indirect than, say, “people need another social calendar, and my company is a social calendar company” or “people need maps mixed with food & reviews, and my company is a food-review-map company.” I’d say the only way that we’re “web 2.0” is that our logo contains orange and green, because according to this Flickr user, that’s your bread and butter right there.

To me, the term “web 2.0” always screams “surface innovation“, where a lot of hand-waiving is used on the outermost layers of a service while the inner core is slippery and unstable — that metaphor can be applied to the application/framework/service the company provides as well as the company’s business plan . I’ll probably get some flack for that generalization, but when I see a company proudly waiving its “web 2.0” banner I always assume that they’re using that as a masking device for the fact that real innovation may not be present. Of course there are “web 2.0” companies that are doing some really cool stuff, but to even out the innovation curve there are also some “web 2.0” companies that are working really hard on solutions with no problem.

So are we “web 2.0” enough to be in that image? Probably not, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of those companies are pre-revenue and are doing essentially the same stuff, and 9rules is neither of those two things. Some tech companies not on that list include Google, Yahoo!, C|Net, Ziff Davis Publishing, and SalesForce.com, so maybe being more like those guys and less like the 23 social calendar or Ajax homepage companies might just be a good thing 😉

Update Well it looks like I spoke too soon! The new version of the logo mashup will indeed have the 9rules technicolor leaf, so I guess some people think we’re “web 2.0” after all 🙂