Web 2.0?

November 6, 2006 § Leave a comment

At 20:17 (GMT – 05:00) on the 28th February 2005 the first definition of web 2.0 appeared on Wikipedia ‘the free [online] encyclopaedia’. The entry was a little over one hundred words but quickly evolved into a much longer article with a history of over 500 versions to date. It is notable that the controversial and shifting definition of web 2.0 itself mirrors the changeable nature of information and knowledge within the social networks that it enables, of which Wikipedia is the most prominent example. Also, that each time web 2.0 is discussed, the meaning is co-opted to meet the needs of the writer and their argument. For my purposes I like the following two points from Wikipedia’s latest edit (at the time of writing this) at 15:28 (GMT – 05:00), November 3rd 2006:

• The transition of websites from isolated information silos to sources of content and functionality, thus becoming computing platforms serving web applications to end users
• A social phenomenon embracing an approach to generating and distributing Web content itself, characterized by open communication, decentralization of authority, freedom to share and re-use, and “the market as a conversation”
(Wikipedia, 15:28 (GMT – 05:00), November 3rd 2006)

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