The Web …

What makes the web so powerful?

I guess the power of the web lies within how much we depend on it now, for literally everything we do. But to start, I had to ask myself what is the difference between the web, and Web 2.0 … a chance to do a little more personal inquiry. I have heard the term Web 2.0 many, many times, and just kind of assumed it was a “new and improved internet”….

Well, to get some answers my first stop was … Wikipedia. A great example of a Web 2.0 tool. They (and I mean they) define Web 2.0 as:

Web 2.0” refers to a perceived second generation of web development and design, that facilitates communication, secure information sharing, interoperability, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, and applications; such as social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies.

So, I am beginning to get a better idea of what this whole concept is all about … communication, sharing of information, and collaboration. It’s really about bringing people together who share similar interests or skills, and building on that to develop a community of learners … a PLN (Personal Learning Network). With the number of internet users, I would say that this is a pretty powerful tool.

Another really useful tool that has grown on me a lot in the past few months is YouTube. This was a logical second stop. Web 2.0 … The Machine in Us/ing Us is great at outlining in simple terms what the internet is all about now: “Web 2.0 is linking people … people sharing, trading and collaborating.” I like the way they mention that “we’ll need to rethink a few things – copyright, authorship, identity, ethics, aesthetics, rhetorics, governance, privacy, love, family, ourselves…” Obviously, it isn’t perfect and in fact there are many risks/factors involved in using this tool effectively and safely.

Web 2.0 by Jeff Utech gives us another angle at how we use the world wide web more and more these days. And it is always changing. This was from 2006, and we are now talking about Web 3.0. What lies ahead?

Well, this article from Wired discusses the development of the internet, where it is headed, and the impact it has on our lives. It was really surprising looking back at the original aim of the internet – for research, not commercial use. I wonder what the balance is today … Below are a few other interesting bits from the article, dated 2005 :

– the total number of web pages now exceeds 600 billion, or 100 per person

– right now, 50 million auctions are racing through eBay

– half a million folks make a living through internet auctions

– 1.4 billion online auctions every year … a global flea market

– 3 billion user feedback comments help police internet activity

– a new blog every 2 seconds (although I read somewhere else that this is now every half a second)

– last year, eBay sold $11 billion worth of vehicles

– netizens (a new term for me)

And finally, a summary of Web 2.0 (and 3.0?) …

“as with blogging and BitTorrent, prosumers produce and consume at once. The producers are the audience, the act of making is the act of watching, and every link is both a point of departure and a destination.”

What is interesting though is how I am currently avoiding some Web 2.0 tools, such as Facebook and Twitter. I don’t really want everyone knowing how I am feeling every second of the day, or what I am up to all the time. I don’t want to post my thoughts, and check in with others. I guess I like my privacy. On the other hand, I love being connected. Tools such as my mobile phone (and texting), email, Skype and blogging are all things which I now rely on to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues. I guess for me, it is once again all about being balanced.

What’s next? Well, Evolution Web 1.0, Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 encourages us to look ahead to the future with Web 3.0. Say what? Well, “simply speaking, the internet is a web full of appliances that communicate with each other by exchanging information.” That exchange is becoming more and more interactive, and more and more automatic. They predict that the web will become more present, but less and less visible, in the future. How powerful is this?

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~ by yamaguru on April 25, 2009.

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