Web 2.0: an core concept of new media and audience
When the internet was developed from the late 1960, it totally changed our lives. Internet has became a important part of our daily lives. Lovink (2012) also said that “the internet is coming of age. With more than a decade of use in many parts of the world, the internet is embedded in the everyday”. With the development of society and technology, Internet may also evolve. Now we are in the age of digitization, web 2.0 is a kind of fundamental concept of new media and audience in digital era. Before I choose the course–social media communication web 2.0 is a vague concept for me and I always feel confuse about it. But now I learn more about What is web 2.0. In this essay, mainly according to the book–< Understanding Social Media > of Sam Hinton and Larissa Hjorth(2013) and the article–< What Is Web 2.0 > of Tim O’Reilly (2005), I will first introduce some key concept of web and web server which contributes a lot to understand what is web 2.0. Then I will have a discussion about what is web 2.0 according to Sam Hinton and Larissa Hjorth(2013) and Tim O’Reilly (2005). Next I will list two key characteristics of web 2.0 which may help use to understand web 2.0. And finally I will connect the concept of web 2.0 with the work I have done in this semester and show how I set up my work based on the model of web 2.0.
Before I discuss what is web 2.0 it is necessary to talk about web and web server. Because they are the prerequisites of web 2.0. It can even be regarded that web 2.0 is a new model of how web works in our daily basis. According to Sam Hinton and Larissa Hjorth(2013), The web provided an interface for people to access and search internet resources quickly and easily and it is the main way in which we connect with the internet on a daily basis. At the same time web server which is an important piece of software on the internet makes the web possible. The server can run on every computer. It always connects with the internet and waits for someone contacts it. Once Users send their requires to it, the server will respond to this contact by sending data including text and images which occupy mainly part of data, and also contains things like video or perhaps games which is interactive content. In addition there are two key characteristics of web server and web, which is the core conditions of web 2.0. The first one is that web server use two way communication to interact with audience. In other words, audience use browser to send what information they wants to access, and in return the server responds with the information, or if it doesn’t have the requested information ,the audience will get an error message ( Hinton and Hjorth,2013 ). This two-may communication is very important. because of that, audience began to respond with their needs to media instead of just receive information from “old” media like television and this is the beginning and the prototype of concept about interaction and participatory. Another one is that different kinds of media can be shown by a piece of software in one web. It makes it possible for audience to share whatever they want in a more easy way. This mixed content result in a multimedia interface. This kind of innovation greatly stimulated the development of the Internet and every online page we access today all contains a variety of media elements. The concept of “Web 2.0” began with a meeting and after that it become a key concept when talk about new media and audience. Although it has more than 9.5 million search in Google, a huge number of people still confuse about it especially for some media companies who regard web 2.0 is a useful marketing buzzword. And according to Berners-Lee (2006), it is hard to define what is web 2.0 … for some people it is blogs and wikis, and it means a model about people to people. But that was the fundamental value of Web to be all along. O’Reilly (2005) said that “Web 2.0 is not a technology, it is an attitude”. An attitude about what media and culture industries realized that “media was no longer delivered in a sealed package to audiences but that audiences played a participatory role in its creation” (Jenkins 2006). In the age of web 2.0 The boundaries of producers and consumers are disappearing. The activity of users may create more value for media industries and companies. In 2004 O’Reilly and John Battelle defined Web 2.0 as “a platform in which customers play an active role in building one’s business”. In addition, for Anna Munster and Andrew Murphie (2009), web 2.0 is not only an attitude it is more like a verb or a doing word. web 2.0 can do more than blogging, mapping, geocaching, tagging, searching, shopping, sharing,socialising and wikkiing. As it can do almost every thing in the network, All part of networked thought, activity or life that is now Web 2.0. In fact it is hard to define web 2.0 but it is possible to define some key features of web 2.0 and understanding the key features of web 2.0 may help us to make sense of it. Firstly as I mentioned above, O’Reilly and John Battelle defined Web 2.0 as “a platform. It means that different from the times before web 2.0, web is defined as a platform and aims to provide opportunity with the means for audience to produce and distribute content . Take Google as an example, Google is a web application which never sell or package product, but only provides service. And it runs on the basis of database management. Every users can contribute content to Google or discover the information they want through it. Google just offer a platform for audience to share and communicate, the content of Google is all from its users. Another key characteristic is called collective intelligence. An example is Wikipedia, a encyclopedia which it’s content are provided by the Users and not only the content, the management is also responsible by the public. The success of the Wikipedia shows the power of the collective and this is also one of the core value of web 2.0.
After the discussion of web 2.0 above, although we do not have a clear definition about web 2.0, it gives us a key insight into how to design applications and services for the new platform.(O’Reilly 2005). In this semester I built a non-government organization—Elder Vision, “EV” for short, aiming to build a platform for elder amateur photographer to communicate with those who have the same interested from all over the world, learn more about photography and share their products. The model of EV is basically accord with the qualities of web 2.0. But because the target audience of EV is the elder, considering about the characteristics of elder group which may be a freshman in using social media, audience may just receive information from EV.
To sum up, web 2.0 is an important concept in the age of digitization. Based on what i learn about web 2.0 I set up a platform and promote it by myself. It is like a converged concept for me. It represents a shift in attitudes which makes media companies Paying more attention to the activities of the audience and also means a doing word that audience can do more thing with web than before.
Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Understanding social media. Sage.
Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. NYU press.
Munster, A., & Murphie, A. (2009). Editorial—Web 2.0: Before, during and after the event. Fibreculture Journal, 14.
O’Reilly, T. (2005). What is web 2.0, design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Retrieved from http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html