Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Just When You Thought You Couldn't Be More Sick of the Term, Cisco Discovers Web 2.0

Cisco CEO John Chambers needs to get a crash course in Web lingo, it seems. Yesterday, on a conference call with analysts about the company’s strong third-quarter earnings, he kept talking about “Web 2.0,” as if he had just discovered gold in the Klondike.


That makes a bit of sense, given that Chambers has been trying to reposition the image of a company that has been known more for its unsexy expertise in selling Internet innards to the corporate market (somehow, “infrastructure equipment maker” just does not roll off the tongue). Via a series of recent acquisitions of more consumer-facing companies like WebEx and Five Across, Cisco has been making aggressive moves of late with a focus on being a big player in home-entertainment networking gear (it also owns wireless router Linksys and cable set-top-box maker Scientific Atlanta).

Noting the boom in the consumer traffic on the Web, especially in high-speed video, and the development of all sorts of newfangled products like social-networking and other more interactive methods of communication, all of which fall under the tired-by-now Web 2.0 rubric, Chambers said, “I don’t think we are being overenthusiastic when we say this will drive the industry for the next decade.”

I am interviewing Chambers at the D: All Things Digital conference that Walt Mossberg and I host in a few weeks, and I am looking forward to all the new catchphrases from the affable executive. Now that he has Web 2.0 down, you know it’s just a short hop to Twitter.

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Knowledge for my generation was at the center of the human quest. It is going the way of the recording industry. It is a term that won’t survive the generation.

— David Weinberger, researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, from a lecture last Wednesday at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Information