I’m taking us to our conclusion today, because the idea of narrowing this field down to a single champion seems wrong, somehow. After all, the web isn’t about one company, or one person. Without a sea of individuals and innovative companies, it wouldn’t be a web, would it?
So, let’s collapse our Sweet Sixteen down to a Final Four, and start talking about more interesting topics again, shall we? Since I’ve already talked about each of these competitors multiple times now, I’ll just cut to the chase.
(1) Google vs (4) Twitter
Google wins, though Twitter is definitely throwing a wrench in Google’s plans. If Twitter could figure out how to really capitalize on the networks it’s forming, they could dethrone the favorite.
(2) Facebook / (6) LinkedIn
Sorry LinkedIn, but you could be entirely replaced by some minor changes to Facebook. Facebook is the social media heavyweight and remains the winner.
Division 1 Championship: (1) Google vs (2)Facebook
Their valuable personal and relationship data could someday make Facebook the wildly successful AOL of the social web era. But for now they are a massive proof of concept waiting for the right trick to somehow turn a profit. Google wins this division today.
(1) Apple vs (4) Zappos
Zappos wins this matchup based mostly on their potential to change the way we shop online. The iPhone and the App Store only carry Apple so far.
(2) Amazon vs (6) Friendfeed
Amazon is the great economic equalizer, and wins out over Friendfeed, which is still a bit clumsy (even if they are on the way to revolutionizing things).
Division 2 Championship: (2) Amazon vs (4) Zappos
The small online bookstore (that grew up) versus the small online shoestore (which will inevitably branch out). Amazon should be worried about Zappos, but they shouldn’t be quite quaking in their boots yet. Zappos has a way to go. Amazon wins today, but is keeping an eye on its pesky new competitor.
(1) Robert Scoble vs (4) Jeremiah Owyang
Scoble wins based on his reach. I’d rather read Owyang and Scoble any day, but I know which one of them influences more people.
(15) Justine Ezarik vs (3) Tim O’Reilly
Sorry, Justine. O’Reilly is a giant, and you are not a giant-killer.
Division 3 Championship: (1) Robert Scoble vs (3) Tim O’Reilly
Scoble reaches a lot of eyeballs on a daily basis, but O’Reilly’s publishing empire reaches every corner of the web where technical work is being done. O’Reilly wins this matchup.
(1) President Barack Obama vs (5) Lance Armstrong
The President has the unsurmountable advantage of representing an entire administration that is making real inroads into using the web to communicate with the citizens of America.
(7) Dooce vs (6) Al Gore
For Gore, the ‘net is just one weapon in his arsenal. Dooce concentrates all her effort on it. You can’t fight this battle in terms of their content, but rather in terms of their use of the Web. Dooce wins.
Division Four Championship: (1) President Barack Obama vs (7) Dooce
Sorry, Dooce, but you can’t defeat the sitting President in a glorified popularity contest. Obama is bringing the democratizing power of the Web into, well, Democracy. That has to beat any individual blogger’s efforts.
The Final Four
So there we have it, the Four Horseman of Web 2.0. An advertising giant that hides behind a search engine, the retailer everyone equates with the Internet, the man who coined the word “Web 2.0”, and the man many call the leader of the free world.
Let’s see where they take us.
Or rather, let’s see where we take us. It’s our web, after all….