Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Web 2.0 Reading Response

I find it interesting, in the start of What is Web 2.0 that there is an uncommon ground of which buzzwords are appropriate to describe just what Web 2.0 is. It seems that, like lawyers, designers thrive on the definition of a word, and having a common language and understanding of said language. I think the struggle to define said term, is simply communication and connections at work between people from different locations and cultures.

There is an interesting point made in the Netscape vs. Google section. It's funny to think of google as only a vehicle that carries information of the users' from browser to server... I never thought that google was just a vehicle for the users' experience; I always thought of it as the service/experience. Even thought a lot of large services like this carry a an abundance of non-interactive advertising, the participation rate/experience is still present by looking, listening, and upon downloading... you, yourself become a server by harnessing data and files that have been shared and can continue to be shared between others in our online community/culture (Napster & Limewire).

Even though I don't understand 'how' it works to a certain degree, the amount of data and information exchange that exists between search engines and browsers through things like 'tagging' where multiple generated user activity can communicate and share in a conversation of commonality, is to me one of the greatest entities that Web 2.0 can offer — connecting people through shared interests, almost like an instant questionnaire on a dating/match-making site. While these exchanges of activity happen, some services act as brokers instead of servers between people. Auction sites and shopping monopolies are evidence of that, where users dictate content and options of usability and activity. I thought about this while buying a text book online last week. While I am on Amazon searching for a design book, there are other users and search engines who have suggested similar books that are just as viable as the specific one I was looking for. And such users are the actual sellers in New Jersey which I bought my book from and has been shipped to me.

So going back to our first video on transmedia, I've learned from these videos and readings that we as users end up being the co-creators, developers, servers, databases, browsers and search engines from our activity and input alone. Its just like Professor Henry Jenkins said "when we think Big Brother is watching us, we are actually the ones watching Big Brother." It seems that we actually become big brother and little brother ourselves, inclusively because we long for that community and integrated mediascape in our isolated individual worlds.

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