Speaking of online marketers, another thing that both amuses and annoys me is the abundance of ‘web experts’ on social networks such as LinkedIn that claim Web 2.0 is just a hollow marketing phrase.

The irony of making this statement on a successful social networking site, one of the greatest examples of Web 2.0, is entirely lost on these people. Somehow they just don’t get it. They’re in the midst of this powerful movement, the socialization of the web, the progression from a broadcast structure to a conversation structure, and they’re utterly blind to it.

They’re surrounded by thousands of trees but they can’t see the forest.

Now I’m not a fan of hollow marketing phrases myself, and for a while I thought Web 2.0 fell into that category. But the socialization of the web is an unmistakable process, something that has most assuredly occurred and whose ramifications aren’t all understood yet. We call this socialization, this democratizing of the Internet, Web 2.0.

Web 2.0’s existence is evident all around us, both online and offline. Its exponents are integral to our experiences as modern human beings through social networks like MySpace and Facebook, through social media sites like Digg and Reddit, through user generated content on YouTube and Wikipedia, and in many more ways. It’s influencing not only our online lives but also how we work and play and consume offline.

This new Internet hasn’t replaced the original broadcast-type web, but has added to it and exists beside it and is, arguably, a much more potent force than Web 1.0.

And still there are so many people that, in the middle of this Web 2.0 experience, deny its very existence.