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Time to retire Web 2.0?

SAN FRANCISCO ? Web 2.0, the buzzword coined by O?Reilly Media to describe the explosion of mass interactivity online, is evolving into something new and different.

Tim O?Reilly, the Sebastopol tech trend-setter who helped turn Web 2.0 into a pop culture concept, signaled Tuesday he might soon be ready to retire the buzz phrase.

During his keynote at the annual Web 2.0 Expo conference, O?Reilly described how Web 2.0 technologies increasingly interact with the world through the use of sensors. Cell phones, for example, are equipped with GPS that can share your exact location with your Facebook friends or Twitter followers.

O?Reilly said the interplay of computer sensors and Web 2.0 technologies such as social networking is only growing, and he proffered a tag for this next iteration of the Web.

?We?re calling it Web squared,? he told the audience, a collection of several thousand geeks at Moscone Center in San Francisco. ?We are starting to see a coordination of these sensors. That is the future.?

O?Reilly introduced the new phrase with this equation: ?Web 2.0 + world = Web squared.?

O?Reilly said he had been working on the title with Marin County resident John Battelle, who is founder of publishing company Federated Media.

O?Reilly Media helped make the phrase Web 2.0 popular after one of its original employees, Dale Dougherty, coined it in 2004.

?I simply came up with a name to designate that there was a new beginning ? new energy, new ideas, new approaches to problems ? after the dot-com bust,? Dougherty told The Press Democrat in 2007. ?For me, Web 2.0 was a re-affirmation that the most amazing and innovative technology at hand was the Web, once again.?

Now the most amazing and innovative technology at hand is the Web, the world, and all the sensors interconnecting the two, O?Reilly said.

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