In the last couple of years we’ve seen some pretty exciting technologies and tools grow out of the basic tool set found in the various Web 2.0 technologies. With the tools found in many open source development environments you can build robust web applications, like Flickr, Upcoming, and Facebook.
As popular as these web apps are, they really aren’t at all necessary for the average American. In fact, the majority of the people in my life have signed up for those services simply so that they could interact with me and my content there.
I don’t believe that these various Web 2.0 technologies can be considered even mainstream until the traditional commercial world embraces its use for run-of-the-mill applications.
What I mean is not a local government agency using Upcoming, as cool and valuable as that might be. What I’m talking about is a local Real Estate company hiring a developer to develop an app for them that coordinates their whole system into a refined, AJAXy app that their realtors, receptionists, and clients can all use.
Another example would be a local sheriff’s department hiring a developer to design a web app that securely handles important inmate management information.
Current database developers who design apps like these are still operating in the 1980’s. The apps are archaic and simply Windows-based versions of their DOS mainframe apps of yesterday. Many of these companies don’t even employ User Interface designers. A definite shame.
When developers begin developing apps for traditional businesses and organizations, apps that are not supported by their advertising impressions, but are a tool of a traditional business model, that’s when Web 2.0 will have made a legitimate contribution to our economy.