What was Web 1.5, anyway?

Before we can feel any sorrow over the death of Web 1.5, I guess we need to understand exactly what it was in the first place.

It’s obviously not Web 2.0, defined by Wikipedia as:

… Web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web.

So what was it, exactly? The only definition I could find dates back to 2008:

Web 1.5 is where the information is conveyed differently by the industry practitioner, but the industry practitioner doesn’t understand that .5 of the “added value” comes from the commenter who disagrees with the post or adds more info than the post itself conveys.


Perhaps we can better define Web 1.5 by the aforementioned services that are going away…


Before Google Reader there was Bloglines, and it was fairly awesome. I was definitely a fan, particularly of the mobile client; I still think it offers a better user experience than Google Reader. And I’m not alone on this.

But the tacked-on social aspect of Bloglines never really took, and when feed updates became interminably slow that was pretty much it.


I vaguely remember this as the service that pre-dated RSS. Therein lies our answer, I suppose.


As an active user of Xmarks I’m most bummed about this, though I understand its features have largely  been supplanted by built-in equivalents for Mozilla and Google browsers.

Xmarks does have a social aspect of sorts to it, but it hasn’t exactly been embraced by its users.

I don’t know about you, but I’m still a bit foggy on what Web 1.5 is/was supposed to be. You could say the demise of Bloglines came about in part due to the Web 2.0 share-y goodness of Google Reader but honestly, I stopped using Bloglines for purely technical reasons.

Nonetheless, let us all take a moment and bow our heads in remembrance of Web 1.5 — whatever it was…

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