Web 2.0 proponent Dion Hinchcliffe evangelizes about the virtues of Web 2.0:
Invariably, Web 2.0 is a term you love to hate or hate to love but either way, you’ll know you’ll get folk’s attention by saying it. I’ve been lucky enough to talk to quite a fair number of people around the country about Web 2.0 in the last few months and hear what they think of it. An overall picture has begun to emerge out of these conversations. We’ll get to what exactly Web 2.0 is again in a moment. But one important ingredient, perhaps the key ingredient, is that it describes the inversion of control of information, processes, and software wholesale over to the users of the Web. This is because users now generate the majority of content these days and they also provide the attention that drives almost everything online financially (particularly advertising). And all of us have a uniquely equal access to the global audience of the Web; each and every one of us now has our own world-class pulpit (in the forms of blogs, wikis, and other mechanisms) that is amazingly the equal of any other person on the Web. Web 2.0 has also been successful in spawning almost ten related sub-movements that range from Identity 2.0 to Democracy 2.0.
Key Aspects of Web 2.0
- The Web and all its connected devices as one global platform of reusable services and data
- Data consumption and remixing from all sources, particularly user generated data
- Continuous and seamless update of software and data, often very rapidly
- Rich and interactive user interfaces
- Architecture of participation that encourages user contribution
In a way similar to how open source software (OSS) democratized and decentralized control of software creation, commoditizing it relentlessly along the way, Web 2.0 sites is doing same thing with the control structures of society and business. Web 2.0 represents the unyielding shift towards putting the power to publish, communicate, socialize, and engage, using an almost-dizzying array of methods, in online two-way discourse and interchange. The Web is the medium, but it’s powered by people.
Sounds keen, eh? But let’s not forget the social, value and ethical implications of emerging technologies. The unintended consequences of Web 2.0 aren’t fully known at this early point in its history, and deserves attention. I’m hoping to put together a small symposium on the social and ethical implications of Web 2.0. More details to come….