Archive for the ‘Assignment 3’ Category

Assignment Three

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

The “What is Web 2.0” article was a bit hard for me to tackle. I understand the basic concepts of the internet, but many of the terminologies used were a bit confusing. I didn’t realize there were distinctions in the web (web 1.0 and 2.0) their purposes. Throughout this article it is noted the changes and evolution of the web and the different elements that are offered. O’Reily explains Web 2.0 through the contrasting of Google and Netscape. One of the big arguments he makes is that Google is more prevalent to today’s technology than that of Netscape with data as a significant feature. The internet will continue to evolve as we discover and learn more about what opportunities there are to expand. Web 1.0 was the starting point and led the way for 2.0; in the same way web 2.0 is going to continue to propel us into future ideas and technologies.

 Due to the nature of the class it was very interesting to discover that blogging is considered a feature of the Web 2.0 era. Blogging, simply put, is a way of making diary entries online. O’Reily even ventures to say that through blogging, connections with others are made as a means that RSS presents. As stated in the article, “RSS has become perhaps the single most widely deployed web service because of its simplicity.” I find this interesting because I have found setting up my blog and figuring it out quite challenging. A large reason for this is because I am a hands-on and visual learner in which I need to both see how to do something and do it at the same time in order for me to fully grasp the concept.

What is Web 2.0 does an excellent job of recognizing all the aspects of the web and going into some detail to help expand any novice’s knowledge on the subject. Personally I hadn’t heard of a large portion of the examples given by O’Reily, but feel that these are important for everyone to know as background information of a tool that people use every day. The diversity and wide range that the article covers is interesting and important to understand. This is also where my critique comes in. Since this article covers so much, it vaguely touches each topic and doesn’t fully explain one thing. The whole notion “I know a little about a lot but not a lot about one thing.” I’m not implying that I think the author is knowledgeable about everything he discussed, just that it would have been easier to comprehend and digest if there was more information on each thing.

Assignment #3

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

One thing I have noticed as I am browsing through plugins for the 3rd time, and perhaps reading The Web is Dead article helped make me notice this, is that many of the plugins are created so that you can easily incorporate social networks suck as Twitter, Facebook and Delicious into your blog. I guess this is just another marker of how much the Web has changed.

I admit I did get a plugin for Twitter, so my posts are tweetable :D , and I also got one where I can set up my blog to be viewed on a smartphone. I figured since that is the way many people connect with each other it would hurt to get it. Also if anyone has ever struggled with citing sources on a blog, you should get this plugin. It basically inserts the footnotes for you, and makes it interactive. All of them can be found in the plugin directory if you just type the name into the search box. I just thought I would share :)

As for the article itself, I just wish to say… I knew it! I knew the Zombie Apocalypse was going to happen either this year or the next!  Anyway, moving on… What I found most interesting about the article was the way that it was outlined, where there were two parties to “blame” for what was happening. Just looking at it from the surface I got the impression that this was something bad that was happening, the web being dead connotation did not help.

Aaand the continuation starts now! Really I was demonstrating how I think beta works, you give people a product or provide a service and then continue to upgrade it! As for more thoughts on the article I really don’t think the “Web” is necessarily dead, I think it is just evolving into something more accessible. Sure most people are using applications more than ever however I think people will still continue to surf the web for information. (I say this as my StumbleUpon button stares back at me) Our primary method of research now is through the web, that is why there is a push to publish so much information. So that it is available!

What I found most interesting was the comparison of the Web between Capitalism and the Industrial period between 1870-1920 (or the Gilded Age). There is a definite parallel between the large web corporations consuming the smaller sites and the old tycoons such as Rockefeller and Carnegie absorbing smaller industries.  Usually the smaller companies need the support of the bigger corporations to even survive. It will be interesting to see where it goes next…

I figured this video would be interesting as a look into where technology is going…. and as a final note… Has anyone been to Google lately? Does anyone know about the Google Instant thing?

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post Post to Facebook Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon Stumble This Post

Assignment #3 Where Could It Be?

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Well I have completed assignment #3 and I guess I didn’t quite connect it to my actual blog spot, so for those of you who wanted to hear what I thought about O’Reilly’s essay entitled Web 2.0, Just click here. Once you get to the site locate the heading entitled Assignment #3, scroll down to comment, there you will find me reflections posted as the third comment.

P.S.

Mine is the comment under Ashley A. Gaston.

Assignment 3

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

O’Reilly’s article on Web 2.0 was interesting. It’s hard to believe that it was written almost five years ago! After reading it and seeing names like Amazon, Gmail, BitTorrent, and iTunes made me think it was relatively new. New as in, within a year or two, but five years really shows me how long I’ve been really involved with these “Web 2.0″ sites. My brother and I thought Napster was the coolest thing when I was going into middle school and him high school, but then we started getting viruses so that had to stop. I didn’t realize being that young, that I was participating in something that could be called Web 2.0. The same goes with Bit Torrent, which I didn’t know about until about 2 or 3 years ago. I thought it was relatively new then! What was weird though, was that in the article O’Reilly seemed to praise the technology that allowed everyone to be a part of the server. Usually Bit Torrent software, in my eyes at least, has often carried a somewhat negative connotation that goes along with pirating music, movies, software, et cetera. So it was kind of neat that O’Reilly thought it was cool enough to be considered Web 2.0.

Another strange thing in the article was when O’Reilly talked about mobile devices, as in i’Tunes and i’Pods, the huge market in that, its innovation and et cetera. But what I thought of even more so than i’Pods was my brother’s new phone the Droid X. To my knowledge this phone’s application store contains pretty much anything and everything. Today my brother called and told me that he had installed a Super Nintendo emulator on this Droid, for free of course, then his next course of action would be acquiring ROM’s for the emulator which are merely a few mouse clicks away. This phone and its marketplace exemplify Web 2.0 to the umpteenth degree. The community makes the applications, many of which are free, and with the Droid’s incredible amount of computing power these applications take the mobile phone to the next level.

The Web 2.0 qualifications are all recipes for success. However,  I don’t think anyone has done, or will do, as well as Google has. Google is becoming an internet leviathan, and what’s more is, I like it. What can’t Google do? They control how we search the web, they read our email, they control what we watch, they know where we live. What’s not to love?

Let’s Be Honest…I Really Know Nothing About the Web, Let Alone Web 2.0

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Truth time! I was more than slightly overwhelmed when I first opened O’Reilly’s article about Web 2.0 and really did not want to read it. I actually watched a sermon last night before I read the article and another this morning before I started blogging about it. Oops. But once I really sat down and looked at the article and actually spent some time thinking about the content, it wasn’t too bad. There was a lot of terminology that I didn’t completely understand – especially when talking about the various applications in Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0. However, fortunately for me, it seems that knowledge of these applications is not extremely necessary as long as I was able to follow the general idea, I felt ok.

As I said, I didn’t, and still don’t completely understand exactly what the article was talking about when comparing Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 but I think i grasp the basic differences – which from my understanding, is the important aspect anyway. The first major difference that I noticed was the idea of viewing the web as a commodity or a service. That struck me as really interesting – especially since just the other day in my social welfare class we were talking about how various programs like education, childcare, and health care are viewed as commodities or services in different countries. I think that the way we view any of these things, the web included, says a whole lot about our values as a society. With Web 2.0 the information and resources available on the web are there for anybody with internet access to use. I know it’s a huge leap to go from hot topic issues like health care to something I (and let’s be honest, probably a lot of others) have very little knowledge about, like the web, but I think that it is a good step. Is it scary that anybody can put information on the web? Of course. Does it make me slightly more cautious knowing that anything I put on the web has the potential to be accessed by people all over the world? Naturally. But I think it’s a very interesting social commentary that we are so open to the idea of information sharing that is implied by the concept of Web 2.0.

What is Web 2.0? I don’t know!

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

After reading O’Reilly’s article, I still don’t think I can answer his title question. As it was written in 2005, I would like to see what he would say about internet today, but perhaps I should get more background and simple information before I go comparing. His opening paragraph talks about the ‘bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2001′ and I had no idea what he was talking about. Considering I was almost ten years old, I was more concerned with neopets than major companies, and so I googled it. Wikipedia tells me that The “dot-com bubble” was a speculative bubble covering roughly 1995–2000 (with a climax on March 10, 2000 with the NASDAQ peaking at 5132.52) during which stock markets in industrialized nations saw their equity value rise rapidly from growth in the more recent Internet sector and related fields. The period was marked by the founding (and, in many cases, spectacular failure) of a group of new Internet-based companies commonly referred to as dot-coms. Companies were seeing their stock prices shoot up if they simply added an “e-” prefix to their name and/or a “.com” to the end. This answer somewhat helps, but I guess my main uncertainty is how NASDAQ or any other dot-com company can fall so quickly in stocks. I understand the basics of the stock market, like how I would invest in it and be able to profit, but as to how it can fall rapidly and how in 2008 everything went to shit, I have no clue. From what I gather in the article, this ‘dot-com bubble burst’ is what caused some of the companies to fall out of business and make way for new ones, as well as others to grow and learn and become what they are today. Hopefully this is correct – if not I need even more help than I thought.

What I did find interesting were the changes that did occur. His visual Web 1.0/Web 2.0 comparison was neat – seeing how the programs we use today came from things I personally have mostly forgotten about was a cool flashback. Britannica Online and mp3.com are so old, but without them I do not think I could function, for they have given me two amazing things: Wikipedia and online music. THANK GOD.

From a lot of the rest of the article, what I have gathered is that Web 2.0 is very much user based – focused on the general public and what they have to offer back to the internet. RSS feeds, the blogging world, even Amazon’s data management that encourages user input and user relevant results, all of these reflect the focus on the community that uses the internet rather than the companies that run it. The ability to collect information, organize it, and reflect it back so that more people can continue the process is what makes the internet so constantly changing and evolving. Eric Raymond’s statement that ‘with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow’ speaks a lot for what the internet has to offer now – thousands of user run and user supported programs and sites that serve to enhance our lives. As someone who is terrible with directions, I can’t imagine going to a trip without MapQuest directions or a gps, but these are relatively new programs that are being updated incredibly frequently.

One of the things I love about my iPod is that even though I got it almost two years ago, it is still being updated, enhancing, becoming a better product. I was just recently given the ability to add a background image to the home screen, and while this is a fairly trivial update, it is a solid reflection of how eliminating software release cycles that only apply to some products (or create new ones entirely) or are incredibly lengthy between updates can vastly improve how we function. The constant updating and alterations made from user given feedback not only makes software generated to how the public uses it, but also creates an ease with which to do so.

The specifics and amount of detail that went in to this article made it very interesting, but I fear that a lot of it went over my head. It did, however, bring up many points that I had not previously considered and made me appreciate the internet we have that much more, and look forward to the advancements yet to come.

Article

Assignment 3: What is Web 2.0? Review

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

In Tim O’Reilly’s What is Web 2.0?, O’Reilly talks at length about what it means to be a Web 2.0 company, how these companies continue to grow and survive, and how these new companies relate to older companies such as Netscape or Microsoft. The first thing that struck me after reading this article was that it was published in 2005. I read the article as if it was published now and it seemed pretty accurate, but published five years ago? To me, that seems amazing. Many of the companies are still seemingly doing the same things that he was talking about back then, and perhaps even better. Reading about what Amazon and Google do on a regular basis was one of the best parts of this entire article. Amazon doing things like turning themselves into the largest bibliography source and at the same time streaming user reviews for every item and sorting everything by what the users say, rather than what companies say, all of it was brilliant. I hadn’t even thought about why I used Amazon up until I read that. I thought their prices on stuff were just great. Google also appears a more brilliant company to me (even if what they are doing might eventually result in world domination) and I think I get what Google is trying to do as a company more as a result of reading this article.

At one point in the article, O’Reilly claims that “the race is on to own certain classes of core data.” I think this was the point of the article that made the most sense to me. As he rightly says, owning the data contributed by users (Amazon’s reviews being a great example), data that you can’t get any other way, and then finding ways to streamline that data gives you the edge on the internet. It may not be the ONLY factor that contributes to a company being successful online, but when the medium you’re going through already cuts down on things like customer service time and product availability (no shipping to stores), other areas like the information available and the ease of access to products become amplified that much more.

My main criticism of this article is similar to what I think every time I read one of these articles. The writers always ASSUME we’re part of the blogosphere (which I guess I am now, but I digress) when my mom probably still wouldn’t be able to name ANY blogs. Blogging is like hockey; it has nowhere near as many fans as other sports, but the fans are so rabid about that one sport that they make up for the difference in amount of casual fans. It just doesn’t make any sense why someone would write an article about this and not try and make it have more appeal to someone who doesn’t know anything about a site like flickr. The fans of blogging and technology don’t need any more pushing, the outside world does.

Even with that criticism, I still enjoyed the article a lot more than I thought I would, even enough to link it to a couple of my friends who I talk about this stuff with. It opened me up to things I probably could have figured out, but presented them in plain sight and in very clear precise terms, which is all you can ask for from reading an article.

Living on the Edge

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

“Leverage customer-self service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head.”

-Tim O’Reilly, What is Web 2.0

In short, Web 2.0 is the web I’ve unknowingly watched come to fruition throughout my 21 year childhood (I just turned into an adult, so I can write about those days fondly and with much wisdom from hindsight.– One drawback to written communication via the internet? Communication tools such as the sarcasm I just called upon are less easily detected. So I’ll just blatantly call the sarcasm. I digress). I’ve always known the internet to be a progressive entity– always changing. Up until reading, “Web 2.0,” however, I always attributed changes in web technology to the collective ideas it embraces and allow. I never before thought that somewhere in the history of the internet there was a monumental shift in software framework to allow the existence of that collective fluidity.

I suppose my point is that there was a change that occurred, allowing for the inclusion of many people as cooperative programmers and administrators, before the web as I know and engage it became possible. Technology’s own survival of the fittest, if you will. I never knew to distinguish between 1.0 and its superior sequel– the age of flickr and wordpress and google and geeks being cool.

I’m glad to know of the literally life-changing change of focus for web features, because as a person very much on the edge of self-service and data management (as in not one of the majorly contributing, centralized and crucial computer geeks) I am one of those lives changed by the 2.0. I am no stranger to advocating its benefits– even before I could put my finger on the details of the technological innovations geared towards a broadening user base, I was preaching its gospel. That is, I became the first amongst my group of friends to engage the web through blogging, flickr, twitter, and youtube (I feel like that sounded like I’m trying to make myself sound cool, when I am well aware that the phenomenon of the modern internet is made possible by the fact that many thousands were joining in these programs at the same time as me. Thus, I am not that cool. But then, these advancements make each person feel that cool. That’s the magic of playing the web towards participation). Even then, I believed strongly in the power of the potential audience out there through the world wide web. What makes Web 2.0 run, though, is not the volume of the audience, but rather the volume of users.

Web 2.0 is marked by a list of competencies expected of each new company. The first item on the list is a company characterized by free services (ie, the database that is google) as opposed to the obligation to purchase a server and individual software tools. As seen in the decline of Doubleclick and the subsequent rise of Overture, as in the rise and fall of Netscape, Web 2.0 is not so much about publishing or the power exerted by advertisers as it is so much about consumer participation and the collective power of many small sites.

A second requirement for a 2.0 company is the control of data sources– exemplified by hyperlinking (driven by repetition and intensity), yahoo! for cataloguing information, ebay for collective market exchange, and Amazon (utilizing user engagement to distinguish itself from other data sources). Insights from these basic principles lend themselves to the creation of even stronger links that do not just control information sharing between 2 sites, but rather allow for a continuous stream of information from any given site.

The third competency deals with owning an application’s core data, given that the majority of information on the internet is not actually published with rights. It is not only important to own the core data, though– 2.0 is largely based on trusting people with dispersing that data and letting go of the hard boundaries of copyright. Fourthly, Web 2.0 exists to provide a service, not to sell a product. It wasn’t until reading this that I thought to be truly appreciative of the free service of google and flickr.

The fifth principle stems from the idea of free information sharing– making data available to different audiences through syndication instead of controlling information at strictly two ends. Number six involves making use of the web and the design of 2.0 to give quality to single devices not traditionally tied to the software of any one computer. Number seven leaves the door open for more successful models for business and development, driven by the competitive nature of growing user experience.

This is the nature of the modern internet. There are still questions in my mind regarding the collective function of (what are to me) broad terms such as server and interface and domain and software and coding. But I recognized in this article’s description of 2.0 the face of the internet I have come to know well–as a person merely populating the edge of the web with a little blog space and some flickr photos.

Living on the Edge

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

“Leverage customer-self service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head.”

-Tim O’Reilly, What is Web 2.0

In short, Web 2.0 is the web I’ve unknowingly watched come to fruition throughout my 21 year childhood (I just turned into an adult, so I can write about those days fondly and with much wisdom from hindsight.– One drawback to written communication via the internet? Communication tools such as the sarcasm I just called upon are less easily detected. So I’ll just blatantly call the sarcasm. I digress). I’ve always known the internet to be a progressive entity– always changing. Up until reading, “Web 2.0,” however, I always attributed changes in web technology to the collective ideas it embraces and allow. I never before thought that somewhere in the history of the internet there was a monumental shift in software framework to allow the existence of that collective fluidity.

I suppose my point is that there was a change that occurred, allowing for the inclusion of many people as cooperative programmers and administrators, before the web as I know and engage it became possible. Technology’s own survival of the fittest, if you will. I never knew to distinguish between 1.0 and its superior sequel– the age of flickr and wordpress and google and geeks being cool.

I’m glad to know of the literally life-changing change of focus for web features, because as a person very much on the edge of self-service and data management (as in not one of the majorly contributing, centralized and crucial computer geeks) I am one of those lives changed by the 2.0. I am no stranger to advocating its benefits– even before I could put my finger on the details of the technological innovations geared towards a broadening user base, I was preaching its gospel. That is, I became the first amongst my group of friends to engage the web through blogging, flickr, twitter, and youtube (I feel like that sounded like I’m trying to make myself sound cool, when I am well aware that the phenomenon of the modern internet is made possible by the fact that many thousands were joining in these programs at the same time as me. Thus, I am not that cool. But then, these advancements make each person feel that cool. That’s the magic of playing the web towards participation). Even then, I believed strongly in the power of the potential audience out there through the world wide web. What makes Web 2.0 run, though, is not the volume of the audience, but rather the volume of users.

Web 2.0 is marked by a list of competencies expected of each new company. The first item on the list is a company characterized by free services (ie, the database that is google) as opposed to the obligation to purchase a server and individual software tools. As seen in the decline of Doubleclick and the subsequent rise of Overture, as in the rise and fall of Netscape, Web 2.0 is not so much about publishing or the power exerted by advertisers as it is so much about consumer participation and the collective power of many small sites.

A second requirement for a 2.0 company is the control of data sources– exemplified by hyperlinking (driven by repetition and intensity), yahoo! for cataloguing information, ebay for collective market exchange, and Amazon (utilizing user engagement to distinguish itself from other data sources). Insights from these basic principles lend themselves to the creation of even stronger links that do not just control information sharing between 2 sites, but rather allow for a continuous stream of information from any given site.

The third competency deals with owning an application’s core data, given that the majority of information on the internet is not actually published with rights. It is not only important to own the core data, though– 2.0 is largely based on trusting people with dispersing that data and letting go of the hard boundaries of copyright. Fourthly, Web 2.0 exists to provide a service, not to sell a product. It wasn’t until reading this that I thought to be truly appreciative of the free service of google and flickr.

The fifth principle stems from the idea of free information sharing– making data available to different audiences through syndication instead of controlling information at strictly two ends. Number six involves making use of the web and the design of 2.0 to give quality to single devices not traditionally tied to the software of any one computer. Number seven leaves the door open for more successful models for business and development, driven by the competitive nature of growing user experience.

This is the nature of the modern internet. There are still questions in my mind regarding the collective function of (what are to me) broad terms such as server and interface and domain and software and coding. But I recognized in this article’s description of 2.0 the face of the internet I have come to know well–as a person merely populating the edge of the web with a little blog space and some flickr photos.

Assignment #3- Response to Tim O’Reilly’s Essay

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

I don’t think I can whole-heartedly agree with the whole Web 2.0 theory. Now, I understand that new applications such as Napster and Wikipedia are more popular than “Web 1.0″  applications, but I don’t believe that they’re completely different entities that we can treat them as different eras of the internet.

I don’t know if anyone remembers Xanga, but I sure do! I may not use that as my main social networking site, but it still exists as a main form of communication for some people. And the same goes for Myspace- it’s not necessarily as popular as Facebook for keeping in touch with friends, but people are still creating accounts on it. I guess my point is that I don’t think that the web “crashes” and then just cleans its slate with these brand new applications. Granted, the newer applications can be more user-friendly and more useful, but it doesn’t make the old ones obsolete. But I guess I could just be taking the term “crash” too literally.

I really liked the section in this essay about the importance of blogging. I believe that blogging was such a great invention! It really is like a diary (except your annoying little brother doesn’t have to snoop around your room looking for the key). I like the idea of connecting with someone who has the same interests as you, without having to exchange any information. For instance- I sometimes follow food blogs because I absolutely love to cook and I sometimes would rather have fresh new ideas than a stale cookbook. Blogs are just great ways for people to connect based on similar interests. And when your interests change, so can the blogs you follow.