Remember the late ‘90’s? You couldn’t go wrong with your stock portfolio; any company that had a website was going through the roof! We couldn’t wait to party like it’s 1999. Windows ’98 was amazing…especially Solitaire! The Internet was so clunky but we loved it. I remember customizing my Yahoo page to list specific content. I even used a custom color scheme. I happened to be living overseas at the time and when we finally got internet access it was amazing.
The web back then was, for the most part, a read only experience and at first, we didn’t care. Then blogs appeared and changed everything. I have to admit I was a late adopter and did not understand the impact of the ream/write web. Simultaneously, a different track was developing… web-based applications. All of a sudden a huge list of sites with goofy names popped up. I remember looking at amazement at a Web 2.0 diagram with logos from all of these sites. Sadly, most of those pioneer sites are gone. Like many of you the first site I used extensively was Flickr, which also was my introduction to a tag cloud.
Flash forward to today and the thought of a static site is almost unimaginable. Web 2.0 is simply the Internet. Almost every site you visit today has some component of Web 2.0. Can you imagine reading a news story and not being able to add your comments? We are all creating content and manipulating information (text, images, etc.) on the web. This is not a special condition; it is the norm.
This type of progression is predictable with any technology. If you are old enough, you remember when cars started having catalytic convertors and could only run on unleaded gas. People would point this out like it was special, “This is a new type of car that uses unleaded only.” Now, of course, we call this a car.
What action should we take? I encourage you to stop using the term Web 2.0. We are well past the tipping point and the majority of sites allow content creation and no further attention is needed. In addition, teachers who are reluctant technology users are easily intimidated by the term Web 2.0. It sounds mysterious and difficult. Rather, I suggest using language like this, “I know of a website that will help with your historical figure unit.” Not, “I found ten cool Web 2.0 sites (with goofy names of course)…you should use them in your project.” Trust me, this approach is successful.
Web 2.0 is not really dead…it’s just the Internet. Now I better not hear people start mentioning Web 3.0!