The Future = Now x Acceleration

First There Was The Web, Then, Web 2.0, Then…

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web-30-6This week’s readings from Wired magazine in 2010 make assumptions that readers were around and paying attention when the Web was new and emerging. If you weren’t paying attention or were too young to care, then, some of the examples that the authors use may not resonate.

The differences between the Web then and the Web now, I think, make this apps versus Web argument somewhat moot. For example:

1990 – 2000 The World Wide Web bursts on the scene and becomes wildly popular. The Web page / site is seen as a new kind of publishing medium by those who look at it as text on the screen rather than the page. It is seen as a new broadcasting medium to those who come from those platforms. What made it unique and valuable were the things that made it the “convergence of media.” Including:

  1. Hypertext – Hyperlinks allowed, for the first time, a “reader” to experience a Website on their terms; in their order of choice; or to choose to “surf” back and forth between your site and other sites.
  2. Convergence – Pages could have multimedia (pictures, video, graphics, audio) woven in with the text to “enhance” the experience.
  3. Self Publishing – Anyone who learned basic HTML could publish worldwide for dirt cheap (or free).
  4. Worldwide Reach – Anyone who learned basic HTML could publish worldwide for dirt cheap (or free).
  5. Easy Instant Global Communication – Email, forums and newsgroups allowed you to instantly communicate (for free) to anyone or any group; and provide instant feedback.

All this was considered a game-changer by people who viewed the Web through the lens of traditional publishing or broadcast, but the paradigm was still thought of as one, publishing to many, with the bonus of instant feedback.

Web_2.0_Map2000 – Present Welcome to Web 2.0. The Internet matures. We still have all five of those above points in favor of the Web. However, new, powerful software scripting languages and more powerful and flexible Web publishing and computer languages allow the creation of Websites that dynamically create Web pages as they are requested. Instead of publishing Web sites, now, there is the rise of the Web-based platform. Truly interactive, user created content are its hallmarks.

  1. Facebook (and MySpace) – Information and pictures you share about yourself to your “friends” and family.
  2. Weblogs (‘Blogs) – Personal publishing that allows interactive feedback. Subscriptions and following.
  3. Wikipedia – User-created knowledge pages.
  4. Twitter – Content solely created by users you follow. You create content to share with your “followers.”
  5. Pinterest – Vicariously looking at what your friends find interesting on the Web.

These are just a few examples of Web 2.0 tools, but if you look at the common thread, they all rely on personal sharing. You create the content of the pages for others to consume. These Websites are never the same; always dynamic, new and in flux. It’s what makes the Web exciting, fresh and compelling — still after 20 years.

iphone-apps1Author Clay Shirky is going to make the case later on in the semester for how Web 2.0 not only has changed our experience of the Web, but how it has changed our experience of society and or expectations for collaboration, both online and off.

The fact that mobile apps allow us to be connected to those Web-based tools even when we are not “online” in the traditional browser sense, I think, enhances the experience; instead of replacing it.

The Wired article pits the Web against Apps. I think they enhance each other.


Written by digitalanalogues

February 1, 2013 at 6:45 PM

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