Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Rise of the "Web 2.0"

I hate to start talking about the "generation gap", but sometimes it becomes increasingly obvious. I'm not an undergrad anymore, but I still use the tools that lots of undergrads use: blogs, facebook, text messaging, online document handlers, etc etc. I like technology, and I like knowing about the newest things to come out and how people are using them.
But many people insist on using software to do things that could be done so much more effortlessly through the web. They call it "web 2.0" and seem not to understand that it's the same thing as it always was: social interaction. People find the path of easiest communication and then use it until something even more useable comes along.
Why use Blackboard technology when you could be using blogs? Forget emails; use RSS feeds, or even pinging products to send out text messages. This stuff isn't hard; in fact, it's ridiculously easy, because people are thinking of things all the time. Why use a paper or email survey when you can just put a poll into your website that generates automatic results that users can see? Or why use Java-enabled chat rooms when you can use an embedded widget?
The opportunites that are out there, and are free, are amazing, and yet I feel like many people aren't seeing that these are awesome solutions. I blame Windows operating systems on this, because people believe firmly that software is designed to crash. It really isn't, you know. It's supposed to be designed NOT to do that, but Windows probably WAS designed to mess up a lot, so you'd continue to buy the new, "better" version (Java, anyone?).
At any rate, I think it's kind of sad that people feel like they're trapped in boxes of software and ownership, when the web is exploding with things that make ownership and licenses basically irrelevant.

1 comment:

avenuez said...

You raise some really interesting points. I'm working with a company that is a newfangled "web 2.0." And they are quite proud of themselves. I think I'll send your post to them.

Thanks for the insight.

"Wicked people never have time for reading. It's one of the reasons for their wickedness." —Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril.