The Rise of the Multi-Player Web and Why Web 2.0 is Here to Stay

Andy Budd
5 min readMay 10, 2022

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While investors seem to be going all in on Web3 at the moment, I’ve been noticing an interesting trend that has its roots firmly in the Web 2.0 era — namely the Multi-Player Web. Before exploring this trend in more detail, I thought it would be worth taking a quick step back to explore where it originated from.

Where it All Began

My first real experience with Web 2.0 happened a few years before Tim O’Reilly coined the term. I was sitting in the back of a SXSW presentation in the early 00s when a friend somewhere in the audience pinged me an iChat message. “Hey Andy, we’re taking collaborative notes using SubEthaEdit. Wanna join?”

I’d used SubEthaEdit, a slightly obscure text editor, before. Mostly for HTML/CSS coding, but I’d never used the collaboration feature. As I opened the file I saw around a dozen of my friends making notes together. Not just in this talk, but in various other talks around the venue. I was blown away. Up to that point editing had been a read only experience for me, and when you did share your thoughts on a forum or in the comments of a blog post, they were mostly asynchronous. So seeing people collaborate in real time was a revolution.

At the time I thought this sort of collaboration was pretty cool. However it also felt…

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Andy Budd

Design Founder, speaker, start-up advisor & coach. @Seedcamp Venture Partner. Formerly @Clearleft @LDConf & @UXLondon . Trainee Pilot. Ex shark-wrangler.