Article 1 – Web 2.0: Separating the We’d from the Shaft! by Joe Rueff


The times they are a-changin’! One of the biggest changes that can affect all of us is in utilization of the Web.

Web 2.0 refers to the differences in the way the Web is being used today than what it was thought to be a few years ago ( then Web 1.0). It was (and still remains, of course) that “Great Library in the Sky”. With that concept we’ve used it as consumers. Google made almost instantaneous searches possible. We could find information from the least known minutia to papers by some of the world’s greatest thinkers.

But today things have changed. People, especially young persons, are using the Web as Producers. There are so many ways individuals can load their own thoughts and information. The Web is becoming another instrument, a producer for millions of individuals who have access to a world wide audience (Web 2.0). Where is it headed? Your guess is as good as mine, but let’s examine a few sites that may lead to a few answers.
MySpace has become the most popular site for America’s teen set since IM was the vogue. I joined the site to see just how it was formatted. Here’s my page:,bcdKrzzecpfu

For much more information about MySpace, the Forbes website has an article:

At its best it offers kids an opportunity to chat with others, download music, and carry on many of the kinds of activities that normal teens want to engage in. At its worst, it’s become a haven for predators trying to link with unsuspecting kids and encouraging kids to try to emulate celebrities such as Paris Hilton.

Then there are podcasts. Here is a site that describes what you can do.

Recording and Producing Your Podcast
Andrew Blake Sorkin
August 26, 2005 17:00
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last year, you’ve probably at least heard the term “podcasting.” While the term refers to sending downloadable MP3 files to portable music players such as the iPod, you don’t need to own an iPod to listen to or even create your own podcasts.
With the release of Apple’s latest version of iTunes, which allows you to search for podcasts, the genre is taking off like wildfire. Thousands of people are creating their own, and that number may soon grow into the millions.

Then there’s podcasting. NCQ is committed to “The Intersection of Technology and Learning”. It’s worth a listen. Check its latest podcast. No. 23. Three instructors/technicians who have experience at the community college level discuss their experiences. It’s a great learning opportunity.

Elgg is a personal learning landscape with the goal of connecting learners, instructors and resources creating communities of learning. Create your own weblog, journal, store of files like photos and Word documents, communities, social networks. Use Elgg to enhance reflective thought, your development, your resource base. Share them with your friends, teachers, instructors and other Elgg users. You decide who can see what! It is all about connections and communication.

What’s a Wiki?
Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks between internal pages on the fly.
Wiki is unusual among group communication mechanisms in that it allows the organization of contributions to be edited in addition to the content itself.
Like many simple concepts, “open editing” has some profound and subtle effects on Wiki usage. Allowing everyday users to create and edit any page in a Web site is exciting in that it encourages democratic use of the Web and promotes content composition by non-technical users.

As you can see these and other sites like them place more power in the hands of the user. They give opportunities for interaction between people throughout the world. This brings out the “We” now embedded in the Web – enhanced communication. However, there’s a downside. Broader usage by less sophisticated and experienced users open the door for the unscrupulous to move in. We’ve had problems with spyware and viruses on Web 1.0. Now even additional concerns have been added. Everyone of all ages needs to be aware of the potential problems. Let’s not end up with the “shaft”.

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