Monday, 16 March 2009

Are you a Web 2.0-er?

Like many MELTA members I belong to the Web 0.0 generation; a generation that grew up before PCs, email and the www had been invented, so I am what some people would call a digital immigrant rather than a digital native or a member of the thumb generation.

People of my generation seem to fall into two categories those who readily embrace new technology and those who think that most gadgets have far too many features nowadays and that mobile phones should be just that, i.e. mobile phones and not come fitted with digital cameras, MP3 players, GPS and Internet access.

I’m not too sure where I fall – probably somewhere between the two. I love my navigation system, can put together an online survey and I moderate an Internet bulletin board, but I don’t need an iPhone or an iPod.

I had already turned 30 when www was invented by the English computer scientist Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, so I guess my nephews and nieces view me as a kind of living dinosaur - even if I am doing my best to evolve.

So what was Web 1.0 and what is Web 2.0?

Basically Web 1.0 refers to the www prior to 2001. Websites were static; readers could not add content or comment. Most of us had slow dial up connections of 50K, so uploading or downloading large files was time consuming and viewing video files impossible.<

Web 2.0 is seen as the second generation of web applications and a move away from static websites to things like blogs, bulletin boards, forums, wikis and social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook where the individual can not only read, but also add content. The introduction of high-speed broadband means that people can not only upload digital photos to their online albums, but also upload and/or view video files on sites like YouTube.

Web 1.0 was a place which was top down; information was published to a site where it could be read. Web 2.0 technology is bottom up allowing anyone with Internet access to add content to it, be it articles, comments, photos or video and sound files.You have probably been a Web 2.0-er for quite some time without even knowing it.

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