Tutorial: Kai Soh – Wednesday, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Junxing Li, SID460068318
“Web 2.0” is discussed in the second chapter of the book Understanding Social Media written by Hinton and Hjorth in 2013. Tim O’Reilly, who proposed this concept in 2005, defined Web 2.0 as an attitude rather than a technology. (cited in Hinton, 2013) Web 2.0 refers to a certain level of change in user practices and the types of adopted software, and it has no difference in the architecture of internet comparing with its former generation. (Hinton, 2013) Before the concept of Web 2.0 actually came out, the expression of Web 1.0 did not exist, so the tag “2.0” attached on internet “is much more concerned with providing users with the means of producing and distributing content”, while “Web 1.0” was “all about reading or watching content” (Hinton, 2013) In addition to that, and in order to make the tag “2.0” more distinctive, the concept of “Web 3.0” has also been developed. According to Barassi and Treré (2012), users’ participation is the basic characteristic of “web 2.0”, while users’ corporation will define “Web 3.0”, new meaning will be created by users’ generated content in a new online environment.
Hinton, the author of this particular chapter, approaches the framework of this concept through a linear logic. At the very beginning, Hinton gives out the basic structure and the topic of the chapter. Then background knowledge such as the concept of the web and the commercialisation of the web is provided. The concept of Web 1.0 is also illustrated in order to make a comparison, and give readers a better understanding of the tag “1.0” and “2.0”. Since the background information is sufficient, the definition of “Web 2.0” is given. The author provides us with not only the evolution of this concept but also a perspective of understanding it. The author further explores the concept by explaining its application in the business area, and the role it plays in creative production. According to Hinton, customers in a business are able to participate in an active manner by using Web 2.0 as a platform. In addition, Web 2.0 removes the technical barriers of creating content online. At the end of this chapter, the author comes to the conclusion that “The Web 2.0 is the more advanced, updated, better version of Web 1.0” (Hinton, 2013)
The most interesting part of the chapter is the discussion of “using or being used”. It is another concept which has a strong connection with Web 2.0. The author demonstrates that users “in the context of social media, and particularly within the construct of Web 2.0” are both using and being used. In other words, they are both controllers and controlled. On one hand, users are able to generate content to the audience of mass media, in this perspective they are controllers. Social media enables an individual to get access to information much more easily, from finding jobs to getting in touch with someone far away from him/her which certainly makes one’s life wonderful. It brings people with more possibilities. It is interesting to notice that social media is also playing its own role in politics. In some countries, governments regard social media as a way to engage their citizens more directly, while citizens are also applying to social media to make their voice heard on some issues. (Shirky, 2009, cited by Hinton, 2013)
However, on the other hand, people are also being used or under control in using social media in the Web 2.0 era. In order to join the game, a person has to create accounts for different social media platforms, and they are giving out their personal information online. The information can be collected and processed by the owner of social media platform, and be applied by some companies in marketing campaigns. Andrejevic (2011, cited by Hinton, 2013) argues that self-presentation and the narrative of personal sociality on the internet are engulfed by commercial interest. In addition, many people, especially those in their teens are highly dependent on social media, “even the idea of being without their phone or social media for a day causes great distress.” (Hinton, 2013) This may even lead to psychological problems, and these are all indications of “being controlled”.
Fuchs et al (2010) provide us with further illustration of the concept “Web 2.0”. At the very beginning, the authors note that in many situations, the term “Web 2.0” and “Social Software” are interchangeable which provide us with different perspectives of understanding them. According to Durkheimian (cited by Fuchs et al 2010), as a product of social processes, all software is social. It is a result of social relation of humans, and “it is applied and used in social systems”. In other words, social is the basic characteristic of all software applications, and their social structures are fixed. (Durkheimian, 1982, cited by Fuchs et al, 2010) The second understanding of “Social Software” and “Web 2.0” is their nature to allow human communication through their orientation on applications. To deal with groups, or to interact with people, is the purpose of the social software. (Webb 2004, cited by Fuchs et al 2010) Tönniesian, who focuses on technologies which enable the building of online community, provides us with the third perspective. Connected with virtual communities, social software and Web 2.0 gain new relevance with the rising of Facebook, Myspace, and other social networking platforms. Systems often use the concept of Social Software, in which humans communicate, interact and collaborate with each other. (Alby, 2007, cited by Fuchs et al 2010)
The concept of Web 2.0 is also related to the notion UCC (user-created content) discussed in class. Searching engines enable people to find information quickly and easily. While due to the information overload and accuracy issues, it is kind of hard for the user to get exactly what s/he wants. However, the emerge of Web 2.0 provides a unique solution which enables the users to get exactly what they want, and in both terms of information breadth and depth, the efficiency of this mechanism has been proved by Wikipedia. In this way, “such successful UCC (user-created content) aggregators are enjoying and sharpening the centralization of web traffic”. (Shim & Lee, 2009)
As for our own work in this semester, we also applied our understanding of “Web 2.0” to the social media campaign design for the University of Sydney Conservatorium. Since Web 2.0 is “concerned with providing users with the means of producing and distributing content” and its basic characteristic is users’ participation, we tried our best to get our audience involved. We hope that we truly attract our target audience and they participate in the campaign spontaneously as well as create new content, rather than sending them information in a passive way. The first activity for our campaign is location play, we brought a student who was really good at playing the piano to the hall of Wentworth Building while everyone else was focusing on their own stuff. The moment when the beautiful piano music came out, everyone in the hall was attracted. We put out our campaign hashtag and Facebook page information on the piano, the students there followed our Facebook page and our campaign initiatively. Besides location play, we also shot behind the scene video. We produced funny video, the small mistakes while the musicians were preparing. It also got likes and shares on our YouTube channel. To sum up, we tried our best to get our audience involved.
Hinton, S & Hjorth, L. (2013a). What is Web 2.0? Understanding Social Media (pp. 7-31). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Christian Fuchs , Wolfgang Hofkirchner, Matthias Schafranek, Celina Raffl, Marisol Sandoval and Robert Bichler. (2010). Theoretical Foundations of the Web: Cognition, Communication, and Co-Operation Towards an Understanding of Web 1.0, 2.0, 3.0. Future Internet 2010, 2, 41-59.
Barassi, V. (2012). Does Web 3.0 come after Web 2.0? Deconstructing theoretical assumptions through practice. New media & society 14(8) 1269–1285.
Shim, S & Lee, B. (2009). Internet portals’ strategic utilization of UCC and Web 2.0 Ecology. Decision Support Systems 47 (2009) 415–423.