SansBlogue  
Saturday, February 10, 2007
  Why Web 2.0 is more than a meaningless slogan
I was pointed to Michael Wesch's little Web 2.0 video on YouTube a while ago (it seems like weeks, but apparently the thing only went public on Wednesday, doesn't time fly on the web!) I watched the start, and thought "this is good, I must bookmark it to watch tomorrow". Of course, tomorrow never came - it only rarely does!

But then AKMA posted about the video and I watched all of it. It is brilliant, simple, short, low(ish) tech and it explains simply and clearly why "Web 2.0" is so much more than a neat - but meaningless - slogan.

Starts with hypertext, reminding viewers what all the hype was about once upon a time, then it makes clear the nature of the underlying revolution that XML generates by separating content and form. (Don't worry people I said the video was neat, quick and simple, he gets you to this point in under 2 minutes of the annoying repetitive techno music. At least if you haven't being living under a stone and you have spotted that webpages have some sort of markup that makes them work. If yiou have been living under a stone go |View|Page Source| right now! And then watch the video...)

By the third minute we are ready for the question "Who will organise the data?", and (almost) ready to spot the answer "We will!" (rather than giving the tired old "Google!").

And then... we've worked out, with Prof. Wesch's help why and how Web 2.0 means that everything needs rethinking.

And then... if we're me we have worked out that actually it is because Web 2.0 changes nothing - all that people producing content, machines linking people stuff was there in Web 1.0, it was even there in ARPANET - what has changed is how easy it is to get stuck in. The web changed everything because non-geeks could manage with a little effort to act like geeks... Web 2.0 changes everything because the effort required just dropped another order of magnitude. And at the same time the power of the results just got raised a power or two...

Wow, Web 2.0 ain't just an annoying slogan, and Michael Wesch's viral video deserves all the attention it's been getting. (I hope the Wayback machine has a good copy for when I need it in 10 years time for a class...)

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