still pondering on Web 2.0

Using Viso I’ve created a visual map of the work on my desk, a review of 2008 and plan for 2009. In the corner, marked up as needing more attention, is an area called Web 2.0 which covers the Web 2.0 Community on Blackboard (last contributed to a year ago), my Web 2.0 website (hidden somewhere in a corner of my H drive), Second Life (last visited for the literature conference six months ago) and this blog  (originally set up to support my expeditions into Web 2.0 worlds and much neglected of late).

For a while I had felt I was up to date; I’d read the JISC reports into the student experience regarding Web 2.0 and had rss’d all my useful social networking and blog sites into Netvibes.

Today, apart from an occasional sorty into Facebook, my Web 2.0 interest is relegated to a corner of my annual review sheet and I’m still pondering on this change from Web 2.0 savvy to Web 2.0 bored. Was it the plethora of passwords and the need for some system to memorise them all? Was it the additional time it took to keep up at the expense of more important work like supporting Blackboard? Or was it concern about the number of places across the internet where I’d posted my name and email address? Was I putting my legitimate Internet use at risk; online banking, shopping at Amazon, collecting with Ebay, communicating with family and friends – was I jeopardising the virtual opportunities I valued the most simply by increasing the number of times I was entering my personal details online?

Or did I just have more interesting things to do instead?

2 Replies to “still pondering on Web 2.0”

  1. You raise some very valid concerns about privacy, identity, password management and the best use of our (in the public sense) time on the Internet.

    I use a Firefox plugin (Sxipper) and OpenID to manage all the logging in to different services. It’s not something I’d recommend to everyone but it works well if you’ve got the know-how (which you have!). Things like OpenID and Facebook Connect are making it easier to transition from one Service to another but there’s still a long way to go in useability. It does take effort to keep up with the pace of development, too. There are ways to make the engagement with Web2.0 more efficient (and in a professional sense, more productive), such as good use of Google Reader, which is what I look at much of the web through (it’s how I saw this blog post). I only use a handful of sites regularly for personal use and if it wasn’t for the work I do I could cut my membership of these sites in half, at least.

    I do think that some of the popular sites such as Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia and Delicious reward putting time into learning how to use them and what their potential could be, whether for ‘educational’ use or simply because they are part of the experience of ‘now’. I see my 2 yr old daughter watching YouTube, playing with a Fisher Price toy that looks like a laptop and can clearly see the significance of what’s happening on the web to the world she is growing up in (whether I like it or not). There’s no going back, after all and I’m never bored. Burnt out sometimes, but never bored 🙂

  2. I agree that the potential of Web 2.0 may well be part of the experience of ‘now’ – our children are growing up in a world that is becoming scarily dependent on technology – but it’s good to pause and experience the non-web environment – and remind ourselves that it’s not a universal experience and for some users it never will be. There are also the dangers of exposure to excessive amounts of information vis the changes in perception and behaviour as documented in the CIBER report. For me it’s been quite beneficial to have time out from twittering and flickering and realise that there are still interesting and challenging things to do in the analogue world.

    And then of course there’s the irony of blogging about not blogging…. 🙂

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