The Web has gone through many cycles but there seems to have always been two main groups that influenced it's direction: engineers and publishers. The web started out as static content but it was originally a realm of the engineers who learned HTML and coded everything by hand. To publish something, you need to understand computers and possibly had to set up your own web server.
As it grew it fell into the publishers' hands as they started investing into online business. A lot of early commercial sites were simply online publications where the layout reflected that of magazines and newspapers. I wonder how much real growth in the industry happened during this time other then that the web go prettier?
The next cycle shifted back towards engineers as they transformed web sites into web applications. This is when the web really became "useful" and began to be part of our daily lives. Now the web isn't just for looking at information, it allowed us to find information. We didn't just read financial news on the web, but now we can trade stocks on the web.
I think now we might at another transition point. The web as an "application" is more the norm then a new idea. It's a proven commodity and that means the publishers are now wanting to get back on board and take over. The result is that they've coined the term "Web 2.0". Web 2.0 seems to me that it's just publishers saying that they want to be the ones putting stuff on the Web. I'm not necessarily opposed to it, but Web 2.0 has nothing to do with technology.