Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is it real, is it hype, or does the truth lie somewhere in between?

Is it real, is it hype, or does the truth lie somewhere in between?

As everybody keeps bragging about Web 2.0 that it describes the changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aim to enhance creativity, communications, secure information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web.

However, what is Web 2.0, after all? Was there at some point in recent time a technological innovation that rendered the Internet an entirely different entity from what it had been before? No more so than when the makers of Gleem toothpaste announced one day in the 1950s that it was now a new and better Gleem owing to the addition of secret ingredient GL-70. For much the same reasons, one day in the early 2000s the technology marketing whiz Tim O’Reilly announced that the Web was now new and better and should be called Web 2.0.

As it happens, my life involves looking at a lot of websites, especially ones that you would prefer not to see. Maybe this has warped my judgment. There’s some pretty awful stuff out there, put there by fellow human beings. They do it for profit, or they do it for the sheer joy of being naughty. The number of porn sites on the Web and these aren’t the worst of what’s out there which runs well into the millions.

I was a great enthusiast of the Web when I first learned of it, and I still use it often, apart from my life as a student. But my hopes have dimmed somewhat, and I’m pretty resistant to any more hype on this subject. So far, that’s all I see in Web 2.0.