Saturday, June 16, 2007

Web 2.0

Everyone has an opinion, and that has been very clearly evident in the "Web 2.0" debate. What is it and what defines a Web 2.0 site or experience has been discussed, battled, rehashed, revisited and over used. So, why not throw in my 2 cents as well! I mean, really... this is a blog right? Isn't the very nature of blogging hit at the core of Web 2.0?

Two years ago, just when Web 2.0 was taking root and really starting to become a "household" name among the techie crowd, I posted a couple of ideas with some colleagues of mine about what Web 2.0 and Mashups were all about. I have heard it is still floating around out there somewhere in "Google Cache" but what I said then still holds true in my opinion today. Web 2.0 isn't all graphic and glitter or even just the technology (aw man, but that is what I like!)... It is really about community (ok, i like that too :-) ). When it comes down to it, community is Web 2.0. Think about what the web was 10 years ago and what it has evolved to be today. We have gone from static content being churned out by universities and corporations to dynamic user generated content. That user generated content is what drives all of the wow in Web 2.0. From blogs, wikis, and podcasts to photos, mashups and YouTube, the web is now a collaborative playground for its users. I don't know about you, but I no longer limit my surfing to a single store for the product that I want, nor do I simply just trust the CNet reviews. I want to know what other people say about the product and the company. I go to places like and to get the lastest deals that the community has found and I want to read the reviews that other consumers like myself have made. Community makes the model of a company pushing a product to a consumer a little more interesting... user generated content demands a level playing field, one where the company must speak person to person. I read the blogs and listen to the podcasts and watch the videos that my peers have made. I want to know what a real person thinks, not what a company is pushing. I think it may have to do with our innate desire for relationship. God created us for relationship and the web 10 years ago was cold and impersonal. It is growing to be personal and relational... "warmer".

So, why write about this? For one, I am always interested in where things are going in the connected world and of course it fascinates me. Secondly, to explain a little of where I see DigitalChalk going. We are continually creating a learning environment that fosters community. A community where people can give their opinions on a subject or share the knowledge that they have with more than just a few people that they can gather in a room, but with masses of people around the globe. While the technology that lives in DigitalChalk and makes it work is easily recognized by a developer as Web 2.0 technology, it is the users of DigitalChalk that truly make it so. They are the ones collaborating, sharing, and forming the relationships online through the software. It is the community that defines Web 2.0.

In the spirit of sharing, this is a great YouTube flick on the transformation of the web and Web 2.0

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