There's been a lot of discussion about Web 2.0 lately. In fact, most people would agree that "Web 2.0" is currently at the peak of the hype cycle. Recently, IBM developerWorks released a podcast interview from Tim Berners-Lee in which he stated that "Web 1.0 was all about connecting people. It was an interactive space, and I think Web 2.0 is of course a piece of jargon, nobody even knows what it means."
In my opinion, there is no question that the Web is being used novel ways, and that new technology is being built on top of what was already there. Also the speed of innovation has increased because it is so much easier to collaborate with one another partly because of the "Web 2.0" tools and web sites now being made available to the general public (blogs, wikis, AJAX front ends, social networking sites). People could debate on and on whether or not there is enough substance to warrant a "Web 2.0" label for these new technologies and social networking/collaborative sites. (How about we split the difference and call it Web 1.5?! - Just kidding.)
The point I'm trying to make is that it is getting easier to find people and collaborate on a project than it was before. "Web 2.0" is a convenient way to label the current set of leading edge methods for people to connect to each other on the Internet. I'm fine with that idea. Heck for all I care, someone could have called today's web environment to be the "Quaternary Period of the Web" and the Web circa 1998 to be "Jurassic Period of the Web". But the term "Web 2.0" seems to have caught on so let's just continue to use it as a convenient way of talking about today's environment. Whatever we call this current period of the Web, it sure is fun to be part of it. It's evolutionary, not revolutionary. Internet technology is changing quickly and there are lots of business opportunities being created. I enjoy learning about new technologies and web sites such as ProgrammableWeb, MySpace, del.ic.ious, Flickr, and JotSpot. Let's just enjoy the "Web 2.0" ride for now. In just a few years, "Web 2.0" will actually be considered old/stale and some new label will be invented.
On a side note in regards to labeling periods of time, did you notice how people just avoid the issue of calling this decade anything?! Is it the "oh-ohs", the "zeros", or "double naughts decade"? We all seem to be surviving just fine without a decade label. So regardless of whether we label this period in web history as "Web 2.0" or not, let's have fun working with these emerging technologies!
Manager, Emerging Technologies Development, IBM Software Group