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Defining Web 2.0: The Web is Us

Digital text is no longer just linking information…
Hypertext is no longer just linking information…
The Web is no longer just linking information…
The Web is linking people…
Web 2.0 is linking people…
…people sharing, tracing, and collaborating…

Via a link on the Blog Squad's How to Build A Better Blog, I was led to a YouTube video explaining a bit of Internet history, and the creation of Web 2.0 - in under five minutes: The Web is Us/ing Us.  The video is informative and really well done.

The piece is produced by Michael Wesch, an Assistant Professor in cultural anthropology from Kansas State University.  A transcript for the video has kindly been provided at the blog for KSU's Digital Ethnography project.

It's thought-provoking.  It ends with these thoughts:

We’ll need to rethink a few things…
We’ll need to rethink copyright
We’ll need to rethink authorship
We’ll need to rethink identity
We’ll need to rethink ethics
We’ll need to rethink aesthetics
We’ll need to rethink rhetorics
We’ll need to rethink governance
We’ll need to rethink privacy
We’ll need to rethink commerce
We’ll need to rethink love
We’ll need to rethink family
We’ll need to rethink ourselves.

To a large extent, I believe those points are true.  Assuming the essence of Web 2.0 to be the world population of people/Internet users searching for, collaborating on, and sharing information -- Web 2.0 has already changed how people approach the tasks of their daily lives.  It's made many things easier (finding directions to a destination), while others are more complicated and challenging (protecting copyright of digital projects, whether words or images).  Identity, for many, is morphed and defined by blogging, and the interaction with others virtually.  I know the Web has allowed me to promote my professional projects in ways and to audiences I would not have been able to, even five years ago.  And part of the success of my projects contributes to how I see myself - my identity.

Interesting and fascinating.  Any thoughts?

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For me the most interesting thing is it redefines friendship. We can so easily connect with others and offer support, advise and a listening ear - everything friends provide for each other. Yet we may never meet. And even more interesting is that things that might prevent a friendship in real life - time, age, distance, jobs, children - don't really apply to online friendships.

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