Truth time! I was more than slightly overwhelmed when I first opened O’Reilly’s article about Web 2.0 and really did not want to read it. I actually watched a sermon last night before I read the article and another this morning before I started blogging about it. Oops. But once I really sat down and looked at the article and actually spent some time thinking about the content, it wasn’t too bad. There was a lot of terminology that I didn’t completely understand – especially when talking about the various applications in Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0. However, fortunately for me, it seems that knowledge of these applications is not extremely necessary as long as I was able to follow the general idea, I felt ok.
As I said, I didn’t, and still don’t completely understand exactly what the article was talking about when comparing Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 but I think i grasp the basic differences – which from my understanding, is the important aspect anyway. The first major difference that I noticed was the idea of viewing the web as a commodity or a service. That struck me as really interesting – especially since just the other day in my social welfare class we were talking about how various programs like education, childcare, and health care are viewed as commodities or services in different countries. I think that the way we view any of these things, the web included, says a whole lot about our values as a society. With Web 2.0 the information and resources available on the web are there for anybody with internet access to use. I know it’s a huge leap to go from hot topic issues like health care to something I (and let’s be honest, probably a lot of others) have very little knowledge about, like the web, but I think that it is a good step. Is it scary that anybody can put information on the web? Of course. Does it make me slightly more cautious knowing that anything I put on the web has the potential to be accessed by people all over the world? Naturally. But I think it’s a very interesting social commentary that we are so open to the idea of information sharing that is implied by the concept of Web 2.0.