[Air-l] Web 2.0 - "the machine is us?"

Alexis Turner subbies at redheadedstepchild.org
Wed Feb 14 13:12:25 PST 2007

On Wed, 14 Feb 2007, Ulf-Dietrich Reips wrote:

::Ok, so we agree it is NOT a new paradigm. Meaning that the 1.0 to 2.0 step
::naming suggestion is a Microsoft like overblown pseudo-signification marketing
::attempt. Sure, "Web 1.7" wouldn't catch on as much. 


::We also agree that there
::is progress, and that some of the progress is just necessary follow-up from
::sheer growth. We simply didn't need what is seen as helpful now.


::Do we agree that the basis for HTML already was the idea of separating form
::and content? 

Yes, but I think you are oversimplifying, insofar as the IDEA of HTML was 
separating form and content, but the REALITY of HTML was far, far different.  
Then they went and put in the <font> tag and it all went to hell from there.

Doing that, imho, was sensible at the time - the web simply didn't allow people 
to flex their muscles as much as they wanted.  But once we went down that road, 
we realized it was a bit of a mistake and had to go back to fundamentals (HTML 
strict), but with the added flexibility (CSS) to accomplish the original 
goal with a little more room to maneuver.

::And do we agree that early on the Web wasn't entirely built in
::static Web pages (remember Frontier? -->
::http://dave.editthispage.com/historyOfFrontier )?

Well, I don't actually *remember* frontier since I was...oh...about 17 at the 
time it experienced its first death and didn't start writing my own webpages (by 
hand...natch) until 1997.  :) Personal history aside, I am not sure what 
Frontier has to do with the current discussion, because, while available, it wasn't 
exactly prevalent.  It had no mind boggling impact, in other words, from what I 
can tell.  Sure, it paved the way for future CMSes, and probably influenced 
more than one developer along the way.  But...I dunno - a little influence will 
get you into a nice dinner at the Ritz.  What's your point exactly?  To be 
honest, it seems like you are hell bent on getting me to agree to some sort of 
slippery slope scenario where I ultimately agree that the modern 
iteration of the web  is exactly the same as a library card catalog.  I don't 
believe that and I don't plan on agreeing to it that easily.  If I gain 1 pound, 
I'm still thin.  If I gain another.  Still thin.  I start to look a little jowly 
after 20, though.  The web, likewise, looks a little different after so many 
years of development.  Why get hung up on terminology...1.0 v. 2.0?  Has our 
approach matured, or hasn't it?

::  And do we agree that the Web
::has many more functions than just searching?

Yes, and thank you and others for reminding me.  I will admit freely to getting 
a little sucked in to my own personal web worldview and personal interests, 
which involve it as an information resource.  It is good to be reminded 
occassionally that it does other things, too (I believe Lois pointed this out 
best of all).  So, I'll admit it - I have a hard time grokking how a person 
could use the web without having to "search" for something at some point, 
whether it be a research paper, tidbit of information, or a friend.  In what 
kind of scenario would it be possible for a person to use the web without having 
to find something?  A friend gives them a URL to something, and they live in 
that corner of the web for the rest of their lives, never entering any kind of 
search term...ever?  How do they make new friends on the web?

::Personally, I see one stream of development, with great ideas rocking the
::waters here and there and then. Looking forward to what comes next!

So, in other words, your only real complaint is the actual terminology "web 
2.0?"  Does that mean that you do or do not believe that certain tasks are 
approached with a different mindset or set of tools...on a large scale?  If yes, 
how significant is that difference?  (In other words, how many pounds does the 
web have to gain before you feel that it no longer looks exactly the same as it 
used to?)

Thanks for the good discussion....

::At 23:17 Uhr +0000 13.2.2007, Alexis Turner wrote:
::> No, I believe the original way of finding information on the web involved 1)
::> search engines and 2) static hyperlinks...generally built on static pages
::> (ie -
::> they change rarely, and are updated by people who can write HTML).
::> But I believe new methods allow more sophisticated ways to search for
::> information.  A site like del.icio.us, for instance, that employs tagging by
::> discrete entities
::> (individual, identifiable humans) allows one more fine-grained control of
::> the
::> search process.  Instead of searching Altavista's picture of the entire web,
::> you can instead narrow down on 10 individuals whom you have found to be
::> consistently interesting and follow their linking patterns over a long
::> period
::> of time.  In doing so, you become exposed to new terms, and friends of
::> theirs,
::> which allow you to create new searches.  Likewise, an increased emphasis on
::> standards (XML, separation of form from content, etc), means that a myriad
::> of
::> such sites can be more easily accessed by a *single* home-grown software
::> solution, thus automating a large-scale search/parse.  10 years ago, there
::> were
::> a thousandth of the pages.  I could do it by hand.  Now?....
::> In other words, there are simply more options, and 2.0 provides us with
::> tools
::> that can better respond to the size the web has become.  We have become more
::> sophisticated in our understanding of how to use the web, and, in turn, we
::> have
::> begun developing methods that can make use of that.  The realization that
::> form
::> and content must be separate was something we had to learn from getting
::> wrong
::> at first.  That is the knowledge that comes from experience, and why 1.0
::> could not
::> have anticipated some of what we see today.
::> Is this completely new?  Of course not - it is a refinement to how a
::> creative
::> searcher would have done things 8 years ago, but it makes it obvious to a
::> larger number of people, among other things, and it makes it easier, which I
::> don't think can be overstated.  It is a signal that the web
::> is maturing - we are becoming more aware of how to navigate it successfully
::> (and
::> unsuccessfully).  As the "article" (and I do use that term loosely) said - I
::> don't think it is a new paradigm, I think it is a more nuanced and evolved
::> way
::> of approaching the idea of searching. This is where I think the idea of "Web
::> 2.0" is vaguely hoax-like, and *certainly* overblown - it is NOT a new
::> paradigm.  It is NOT a platform.  But none of those criticisms should imply
::> that it is entirely useless.  It is a recognition of a refinement in our
::> understanding, and that in and of itself is pretty welcome in my mind.
::> -Alexis
::> On Tue, 13 Feb 2007, Ulf-Dietrich Reips wrote:
::> ::You there write: "The incredible thing is that it offers a radically new
::> ::approach to managing and finding information. Web 2.0 offers both
::> information
::> ::and tools, if you will, where Web 1.0 offered only information. Methods
::> like
::> ::XML, RSS, AJAX, and tagging, sites like del.icio.us or netvibes - these
::> offer
::> ::methods more powerful than search engines and hyperlinks for
::> understanding,
::> ::and finding, how information is connected. They improve the ambient
::> ::findability of relevant material, communities, peers, and ideas."
::> ::So, wouldn't this mean that "Web 2.0" started with Google search? Or ...
::> ::wait... it started with Yahoo catalogues. No ... wait ... it started with
::> ::Netscape inventing Livescript (now Javascript). No, hey, it must have
::> started
::> ::with the implementation of Web *forms*. Uh oh, and soon we are in TBL's
::> office
::> ::in Geneva looking at the first Web browser...
::> ::--u
::> ::

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