Oh what a tangled Web we weave … Web2.0

Web2.0. It’s like web version 1, but with a better camera, and more apps. Oh wait, that’s the iPhone.

Take 2. Web 2.0. What is it? I LOVE the jargon of the wiki definition, which describes Web 2.0 as “World Wide Web sites that emphasize user-generated content, usability, and interoperability” (wikipedia, n.d.) What does that mean? Basically, it represents the shift from the internet as a place where people go to find information, to a place where users create information, share ideas, and are involved in the production of media. The focus is on creation rather than consumption. Wikipedia itself represents a perfect example of a Web 2.0 site, as users are able to edit, create, and contribute to the body of knowledge.

Web 2.0 sites play a vital role in the way that people engage on the internet, on multiple levels. Socially, people create connections on sites like facebook, youtube and instagram, sharing their pictures, events, and ideas with an ever-expanding community. Academically, wikis allow spaces for connection, interaction and sharing of teaching and learning. Professionally, colleagues interact on sites such as twitter and google hangouts, allowing for a deepening collaborative connections. Web 2.0 platforms like tumblr, pinterest, and the numerous other blogging and curations sites in existance cross the boundaries of use, allowing people to collaborate and connect in many areas of their lives.

Web 2.0 is so much a part of our internet experience that it’s second nature to contribute to sites. As our ability to contribute to the collective body of knowledge that the internet represents increases, so does our need to throughtfully and critically analyse the media we consume. Active participation in the creation of media needs to be met with active engagement with the media we interact with. Web 2.0, then, is really a reflection of the relationships that users form with the sites – creating, exchanging and using information around a point of need (Miller, 2005).

Web 2.0 is an enormous part of my online life. Whether is facebook groups to communicate with colleagues or fellow students, instagram to share my day and my work, or one of the myriad of other sites I use in my teaching and learning, I’m constantly contributing to the ever-increasing world of Web 2.0. What will be next, I wonder?

 

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0. Accessed May 1 2015.

Miller, P. (2005). Web 2.0: Building the new library, Ariadne, 45, 30 October. Retrieved from http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue45/miller

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