2.0. It's become a cliche already hasn't it? But it's a suffix that attempts to express transformational change in many things – the way we work, the way we vote, the way we consume media, the way ideas spread. Enterprise 2.0, Politics 2.0, Publishing 2.0, Advertising 2.0 – it says we have moved on, arrived at a new place, drawn a line in the sand.
But it also suggests definable change. Staged change. I finish 1.0, now I'm in 2.0. When I finish 2.0 I'll be ready for 3.0. In reality of-course life is a whole lot blurrier than that, and things aren't so easily compartmentalised.
And so I think there's a danger with this kind of thing that we assume boundaries where there are none. That we set our objectives against an end point which doesn't exist. That we sell ourselves short instead of realising the fundamental change that needs to happen. Which I why I like this quote from journalist blogger Howard Owens speaking in the context of the changes facing the newspaper industry:
"See, I’m kind of tired of people talking about how newspapers are going through a ‘transition’. As in, ‘we just need to get through this transition.’ Transitions have beginnings, middles and ends. Transitions eventually stop and you get a chance to take a breath and say, ‘cool, we survived.’"
I think that applies right across the communications industry.