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January 31, 2010

Web 2.0 Tools

As we saw in the previous blog entries, "web 2.0" encompasses a lot of things. To get a better understanding of what to expect from this blog, I wanted to highlight some of the tools we may be discussing and playing with. I believe to "play" and experiment is the best way to understand the capabilities of many of the tools and decide if they fit your personal or organizational needs.

  • Blogs, including the Case Blog System
  • Wikis, including the Case Wiki
  • Twitter
  • Social networks like Facebook
  • Photo sharing like Flickr
  • Videos
  • Instant messaging
  • Mashups
  • Maps
  • Podcasts like Off The Shelf
  • Tagging
  • Everything Google
  • Gaming
  • Virtual worlds, like Second Life
  • Skype and other web communication tools
  • Web 2.0 influence on library resources
  • RSS
  • ...and much, much more.

January 15, 2010

Web 2.0 Characteristics

It is very hard to define "web 2.0" in a general statement as you would expect of a dictionary. Most people define web 2.0 in terms of the characteristics that make it unique from how the World Wide Web has changed over the last half decade.

On TechPluto, an article by Prashant Sharma called "Core Characteristics of Web 2.0 Services" (November 28, 2008) defines web 2.0 in terms of 7 key characteristics.

O'Reilly, credited to be the originator of the terminology, breaks the definition down into a couple of visual representations that are very powerful in an article called "What Is Web 2.0". One diagram highlights examples of web 1.0 versus the web 2.0 equivalent. The other diagram is a "meme map" defining all the characteristics of web 2.0.

Here is another video by Dr. Michael Wesch. In this one, we see how the use of information has changed over time.

January 13, 2010

What is web 2.0?

Web 2.0 is very hard to define and means many things depending on your view point. Below follows various ways to identify, describe, or see web 2.0 in action.

O'Reilly (a company well know for their computer books, conferences, and training)and MediaLive International had a web 2.0 conference in 2005 to explore the concept. The conference has continued on each year. Tim O'Reilly has published an article called "What Is Web 2.0, Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software" that is great in bringing everything together. as you go through the article you will see many features that resonate throughout the various attempts to define web 2.0, such as

  • user-generated content
  • web as the platform (i.e. access by any technology with internet capabilities no matter the software installed on the device)
  • perpetual beta - things in constant change
  • "social" web
  • access to data that each user can manipulate
  • cooperation, sharing, collaboration, etc.
[Source: What Is Web 2.0, Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software, by Tim O'Reilly, 09/30/2005,]

Finally, here is a video produced by Dr. Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Digital Ethnography at Kansas State University, and his students. He is a cultural anthropologist that focuses on social media and digital technology. Several of his projects will be highlighted on this blog due to their relevance to understanding web 2.0.

January 11, 2010

Learning 2.0 @ CWRU Offerings

Every few days, KSL staff will help to lead you through exploration into web 2.0 tools and techniques. The blog will be organized so people can jump in and out based on their needs and convenience. Please consider directing new students, faculty, and staff here to start their self-education in technology, tools, resources, expertise, and techniques. The blog will be organized by category so each person can be as focused as they desire in their exploration.

This blog will offer a variety of features, such as:

  • Gentle introductions or definitions
  • Practice activities
  • Links to additional resources
  • Directions to expertise in KSL or elsewhere at CWRU
  • Best practices, examples, and shortcuts
  • Various tools and alternatives
  • Discussions about the growth of web 2.0 or the future

Leveraging the Social Web to Work & Play Better

The staff at the Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) participated in a 10-week internal training program to explore the concept of web 2.0 and related tools. We looked at how the web supplements the library's services and resources, how others are benefiting from the thousands of available tools, and most importantly we jumped in and played.

As we continue the exploration, the staff at KSL asks that you join us. We will use this blog to share our expertise and explore how everybody can benefit from the web 2.0 environment.

The library's staff training looked at:

  • What is web 2.0?
  • Wikis
  • Instant Messaging & Other Communication Tools
  • RSS
  • Tagging, Folksonomies & Social Bookmarking
  • Blogs
  • Online Collaboration & Productivity Tools
  • Photos & Images
  • Maps and GIS
  • Podcasts & Video

Regular entries on this blog will review the basics of these and other concepts, while providing paths for personal growth and discovery.