Web 2.0 again

Here are some Web 2.0 definitions. In common seem to be the idea of a platform or platforms which mobilize collective co-creation capacity, and support on-demand availability of recombinable data and services.

Tim O'Reilly:

Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an "architecture of participation," and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences. [O'Reilly Radar > Web 2.0: Compact Definition?]
John Hagel:
So, in the spirit of entering the conversation, let me suggest that Web 2.0 ultimately refers to "an emerging network-centric platform to support distributed, collaborative and cumulative creation by its users." [Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: What is Web 2.0?]
He goes on to examine each of these attributes in turn. Richard MacManus includes the following in a longer discussion:
Web 2.0 at its most basic is using services on the Web. Some examples: Gmail for email, Flickr for photo-management, RSS for news delivery, eBay for shopping, Amazon for buying books. That's why the Web is being called a platform - because all of these services are being built and used on the Web. Why Web 2.0 only now though - hasn't Amazon been around since 1995? Why yes, but it's taken until 2005 for broadband and web technology to catch up and reach a 'tipping point' - the Web is fast becoming the platform of choice for developers, business, media, public services, and so on. [Read/Write Web]

Comments: 1

Oct 04, 2005
Andy Havens

While the services and structures of what we're coming to call Web 2.0 are important and interesting, I'm also seeing more and more examples of the social and media impact of Web 2.0. Blogging has certainly received quite a lot of attention in the media, and is considered by some to be one of the first widely adopted, socially significant manifestations of Web 2.0.

I found a very interesting blog post that discusses the links back and forth between an ARG (Alternate Reality Game), the Wikipedia, and the blogosphere. It also touches on how all these issues impact with the more traditional media, the public's perception of information trustworthiness and the ability of the tension between these issues to generate public interest (i.e., good PR for the game).

Tim O'Reily's quote struck me as most appropos of all to this story: "consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others."

In the world of Web 2.0., when there is less of a distinction (or none) between the recipients of data (messages, media, information, content, systems, etc.), and creators of it... where does the role of author (or editor or publisher) end, and that of reader begin? How do truly passive "readers" know to what degree their experience is being shaped by an "authoritative source," or some subset of the newly enabled audience?

Blogs and the Wikipedia, Google Print, Amazon reviews and wish lists, eBay, Flickr, LinkedIn and Craig's List... there are now millions of authors and creators of the web, and more people are beginning to think of it as a medium of "always on" expression as well as one of instant information access.

Question: are there ways in which libraries can involve the vast majority of their users as creators of information, content and metadata and not just consumers of it? As participants in the library process? Is there a Library 2.0?