So what is Web 2.0? Like Trebor Scholz, I ask why has “the definition morphed over time” (Scholz). Certainly many people envision an ideal Web 2.0, but does this or can this really exist? In 2008 when Market Ideology and the Myths of Web 2.0 was written they certainly didn’t know exactly what Web 2.0 was, and it appears four years later the true definition has yet to be pinpointed.
In 2005, Tim O’Reilly attempted to explain what Web 2.0 was, or is attempting to be. O’Reilly pointed out seven major parts, or goals of Web 2.0: The Web As Platform, Harnessing Collective Intelligence, Data Is The Next Intel Inside, End of the Software Release Cycle, Lightweight Programming Models, Software Above the Level of a Single Device and Rich User Experiences (O’Reilly). Some of his predictions may have been accurate, especially when he suggested that Google would be the future of the internet. On the other hand, some of his predictions certainly were incorrect with no mention of now ginormous social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter on the subject of “personal websites” (O’Reilly). With too many false or unthinkable predictions, O’Reilly brings me no closer to understanding the definition of Web 2.0.
The question I ask is, are we just simply over thinking Web 2.0? Like many other technologies of the past, has the Web just evolved into something different than it used to be? The television changed from having only a handful of channels in black and white to now having hundreds of channels in colour. The radio has changed so drastically that some think in the near future it may not even exist without the internet (Saul). Is it to simple to suggest that the internet is simply going through a technological evolution just as those mediums before it has? With the internet having billions of users, I don’t think it would be fallacious to think that this is the case. The internet has changed because of its users, not because the corporations have tendered it to act a certain way. Web 2.0 is a product of evolved users of Web 1.0 and this is why it appears that, “the desires and needs of young users seem to match neatly with the needs of corporaties” (Scholz). Corporations haven’t changed the internet in a way that its users are now forced to indulge in the available product, instead users have shown corporations what they are interested in and allowed them to market directly to them. In many ways, this is actually much better for the corporation and much easier for the consumer.
In the end, Scholz makes a very powerful point and encourages the reader to, “re–imagine the Social Web as a place for unmarketed, non–mainstream projects that caters to all needs of those who inhabit it (Scholz). Unfortunately, I doubt the internet will ever see such a time. The Web itself is a product, a product which billions of people have and will continue to, invest time and money in. The corporations have become aware of this and are using the power of the Internet to market their products directly to us. Whether Web 2.0 is a product created ideologically by corporations, or it has simply evolved from the content produced by its users, there is no doubt that the World Wide Web will continue to exist as a part of business, technology and culture. The paradigm raises two extremely serious questions what has and will the Internet turn into, and of course…
What Have We Turned Into?
– Ian McDougald
Scholz, Trebor. “Market Ideology and the Myths of Web 2.0.” First Monday. 3 Mar. 2008. Web. 24 Mar. 2012.
O’Reilly, Tim. “What Is Web 2.0.” O’Reilly: Spreading the Knowledge of Innovators. O’Reilly Media, Inc, 30 Sept. 2005. Web. 24 Mar. 2012.
Saul, Brad. “The Future of Radio.” G Plus. Gerson Lehrman Group, 08 Jan. 2009. Web. 24 Mar. 2012.