Fun sites and Web 2.0
Why the fun sites? To show you Web 2.0 .
Web 2.0 is a group of web-based technologies that change the way people relate to information and each other.
According to wikipedia, "The phrase Web 2.0 refers to a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis and folksonomies — which aim to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users".
People using these sites change what they expect from our libraries - online and within our buildings. Libraries that harness these technologies and respond to the new attitudes brought by them are often described as "Library 2.0". The key to Library 2.0 is understanding both the new technologies and our users well enough to tailor new services to better meet user needs. It's not just about trying new tools.
Murdoch University Library services that could be described as "Library 2.0" include our podcasts, Online Librarian IM chat reference, Emerging Technologies Group, 23 Things program, reference desk blog, Flickr account and the 24/7 Learning Common.
So, what are some elements of Web 2.0?
- Users become online content creators (eg. I can has cheezburger involves regular people submitting photos of their cats and other regular people captioning them)
- Software is on the web, not your PC. The tools are "up there" on the web, instead of "down there" on your PC (eg. A couple of years ago, you could only have played something like Boomshine from a CD on your PC ).
- Tools are in perpetual beta. Beta is traditionally the software testing stage before release. Rather than double checking to ensure that every single feature is accurate before releasing a tool, producers release them earlier with many more features and let their community iron out the bugs. (gmail, for example has been in beta ever since February 2007). Users are valuing usefulness over perfection.
- New tools allow regular people to easily create sophisticated products (eg. Using meez.com, you can create an individualised animated cartoon without knowing anything about programming)
- Users are uploading as well as downloading. They used to just get stuff from websites, now they are putting it there too.
- Data becomes a social space. Users have conversations while they consume content (eg. comments on photos at Flickr)
- Mashups. Combinations of information from different tools mixed to make something new (eg. Star Trek meets Monty Python or Library Elf - a site that reminds you what you have out of the library)
- Users are creating sites with an informal, human voice and are beginning to expect this from organizations too.
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OPTIONAL FURTHER READING:
Abram, Stephen. Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and Librarian 2.0: Preparing for the 2.0 World. Sirsi OneSource, January 2006, 2(1).
Crawford, Walt. Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0.” Cites and Insights. 6:2, Midwinter 2006, pp.1-32.
Maness, Jack M. Library 2.0 Theory: Web 2.0 and Its Implications for Libraries. Webology, 3(2), June 2006.
Miller, Paul Web 2.0: Building the New Library. Ariadne, 42, October 2005.
Library 2.0 Roundup - Redux - a comprehensive compilation of key journal articles and blog posts about Library 2.0 by Jennifer Macaulay of Life as I know it.