What is Web 2.0?

OLJ Task 2: What I think and know about Web 2.0 and the influence of this technology on organisations.

The phrase “Web 2.0” was created to describe the integrated, interactive and dynamic internet experience that developed from the initial World Wide Web (“Web 2.0”, n.d.).

Conole (2013) contributes the development of Web 2.0 to open, social and participatory media (p. 49). The participatory nature of these media enables us to actively create, remix and repurpose content and develop new ways of sharing what Schwerdfeger (2013) describes as “user-generated content”. The social nature allows us to connect and collaborate without the restrictions of space and time and facilitated the development of social networking and social media. The open nature is allowing collective aggregations and peer critiquing to lead to societal knowledge building through supportive communities of practice.

Anderson (2007) described powerful ideas that describe how Web 2.0 is changing the way individuals and organisations interact:

Individuals acquired “agency” to produce information products and other user-generated content. Web 2.0 users have the capacity to produce, share, contribute and consume online content and are empowered to avoid and bypass traditional organisations, regulations and costs/expenses (Van Dijk, 2018, p. 2.). Web 2.0 also gave individual a”voice” which, when added to those of other likeminded individuals, have great power when connected.

image by geralt, downloaded from pixabay

image by geralt, downloaded from pixabay

The connected, networked environment of Web 2.0 is essentially about “harnessing collective intelligence (O’Reilly & Battelle, 2009). Organisations cannot only forge closer ties to customers, but benefit from the wisdom of the crowd and crowdsourcing to solve problems more effectively by networked groups (Anderson, 2007, p. 16, Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009). Web 2.0 platforms can be designed to take the user interactions into consideration and improve itself, a feature Anderson calls architecture of participation (p. 19). Organisations can further harness the network effect, a phenomenon that occurs when a product’s value to a user increases as the number of users grow (“Definition of Network Effect,” n.d.).

The openness of the Web encourages organisations to mine and make use of the ever-increasing amount of data generated by online users as well as information in the vast databases that have been collected by public sector agencies.

What does this mean for an organisation such as a school? Just as the Web 2.0 environment changed the way we produce and interact with information and knowledge, and how we share and communicate it, it is changing the environment where learning and teaching takes place. The boundaries between the traditional and formal educational contexts and non-formal and informal learning contexts, are being redefined (Conole, 2013, p. 48; p. 204).

What does this mean for the school library?

Well, it seems time to find out exactly what Library 2.0 is all about…


Anderson, P. (2007, February). JISK Technology and Standards Watch: What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education. Retrieved from JISK website: http://www.ictliteracy.info/rf.pdf/Web2.0_research.pdf

Bughin, J., Chui, M., & Miller, A. (2009, September). McKinsey Quarterly: How companies are benefiting from Web 2.0. Retrieved from McKinsey website: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/how-companies-are-benefiting-from-web-20-mckinsey-global-survey-results

Conole, G. (2013). Designing for learning in an open world. New York, NY: Springer.

Definition of network effect. (n.d.). In Financial Times lexicon. Retrieved March 6, 2019, from http://lexicon.ft.com/Term?term=network-effect

O’Reilly, T., & Battelle, J. (2009, October). Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years on. Paper presented at Web 2.0 Summit, San Francisco, CA. Retrieved from https://conferences.oreilly.com/web2summit/web2009/public/schedule/detail/10194

Schwerdtfeger, P. (2013, March 17). What is Web 2.0? What is social media? What comes next? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/iStkxcK6_vY

Van Dijck, J. V., Poell, T., & Waal, M. D. (2018). The platform society: Public values in a connective world.

Web 2.0. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2019, from Technopedia website: https://www.techopedia.com/definition/4922/web-20