Web 2.0 Heroes: Interviews with 20 Web 2.0 Influencers review
It was always going to be difficult to gather a score of those at the cutting edge of web development to talk coherently about Web 2.0. It’s no shame then that Bradley Jones in Web 2.0 heroes doesn’t quite manage to pull it off.
While Jones does manage some fascinating insights into technology development from two Web 2.0 poster children – Biz Stone of Twitter and Meebo’s Seth Ternberg – part of the problem of exploring Web 2.0 is that nobody really knows what it is. Even those interviewed here struggle to find a shared view.
Biz Stone, who supplies one of the more readable interviews, defines it blandly as a ‘growing realization that the Web is a social environment’, while to Ning’s Gina Bianchini it’s just a buzzword. By the end of the book, you’re firmly on her side.
The interviews appear to have been lightly edited. The advantage: you hear the real voice of the interviewee. Against that, some interviews could have done with a bit of tightening up. Did Tim Harris of Microsoft, for example really mean that Exchange Server is a ‘conical’ rather than a ‘canonical’ web application?
Web 2.0 heroes doesn’t feel like a homage to the cutting-edge, then, but that isn’t the book’s primary aim and elsewhere it’s a valuable snapshot into Silicon Valley entrepreneurship.