The Web. Let’s review. First there was the Informtion Superhighway. A very gray place that would ever so slowly appear in a window on something called a browser. I think it was made by Netscape. But, it had something called hypertext. Suddenly underlined words could take you to an entirely new place like an errant brain wave jumping off the normal pathway into a completely new place in your brain. A visual image from your eye was suddenly a pungent smell, or a pleasant sound would become a sweet taste on your tongue.
Next came the Internet as we knew it in the early 0’s. All things unimportant were lost in the bubble, while utility and purpose became the currency. Remember the commercials for Next Card. “Don’t blow up banks, they will be gone soon.” You see users wanted to do something, and so, abandonded places like the “Cool Site of the Day” for a more helpful domain in their address bar. That has advanced very quickly and began to grow business models on the branches of site maps.
Now Web 2.0 is upon us. Web 2.0 is defined by the presence of three things. Rich internet applications (bringing desktop motifs into the browser), service oriented architecture (seamlessly pushing information across platforms) and social computing (user-generated content). I love the video embedded below from Mike Wesch, because it brings all this together without being technical. Mike thinks about things as a cultural anthropoligist, not a technologist. That is critical for understanding what Web 2.0 means to humans, not microprocessors. Please watch.
Ok. Now we are sufficiently primed to take a real leap of faith. Andrei Codrescu is a commentator frequently heard on NPR. Earlier this week he did a piece entitled From Poetry to Web: Tools of Youthful Rebellion. I won’t try to explain, only encourage you to listen to it here.
So there you have it. Web 2.0. Can’t wait for the next version.