Right now, when we sit in front of our computer or connect to the Internet via our smartphone or tablet we are almost immediately in front of the Web 2.0 and it makes us feel that we all have something interesting to say and that we should broadcast it to the world.
As we know, the Internet has played a crucial role in how we access information and communicate with the world. In its first stages, the web (called now Web 1.0) was fully filled with static websites, we were provided with limited information without the ability to comment or share. The term Web 2.0 was introduced during a meeting held in 2004 by Tim O´Reilly (creator of the Global Network Navigator, which later became AOL.) The Web 2.0 is the World Wide Web actual moment where the user-generated content, interaction and collaboration take a starring role in every communication strategy mainly offering new features that include social networking sites, user-created websites and self-publishing platforms that we weren’t capable to have access before.
For the first time in history, almost everyone has a voice. It sounds great; didn´t it? But the impartiality of the authoritative expert has been replaced by anonymous amateurs.
“Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community. Then they were quickly silenced, but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It’s the invasion of the idiots.” Said Umberto Eco, who some consider to have prophesied the internet actual moment.
Also, Andrew Keen, who wrote “The Cult of the Amateur,” argues the Web has become overwhelmed with useless noise.
The explosion of collaborative websites (Wikipedia), blogs, social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Myspace etc.) and video-sharing sites (YouTube, Vimeo) has allowed any Internet user to become a journalist, digital writer, and filmmaker or rock star. Now everyone can claim to be a creator but is this radical democratization of information the future of the Internet or an emerging catastrophe? Well for real Web 2.0 is your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, son, daughter, friend, acquaintance. Web 2.0 is you.
Sometimes the Web 2.0 feels filled with forced attractions and collective thought and it is difficult to distinguish when something real arises. We can talk about digital narcissism. When everyone claims to be an author, there can be no reliable information or audience. The media appears to be more important than the content. “The beauty of the Internet is that it connects people. The value is in the other people. If we start to believe that the Internet itself is an entity that has something to say, we’re devaluing those people and making ourselves into idiots.” Jaron Lanier.
We have been provided with everything we desire in great quantities: information, truth, lies, sex, love, porn, distraction, ideas, and above all: abundance. “The Web is us. It’s a mirror rather than a medium. When we go online, we are watching ourselves. So the question is do we want to be looking at ourselves as our best (Cinderella) or our worst (the giant cockroach)? My point is that what appears to the Web 2.0 crowd to be a Disney production is actually a Kafka remix.” Andrew Keen.
We are understanding or trying to understand the world through the digital abundance immerse in the Web 2.0 but that means we could get lost in their infinite channels and infinite truths and lies. Here no one can help us to understand, to discern the authenticity of the messages as Web 2.0 lacks intellectual or ethical authority.
If we are still wondering how attractive the Web 2.0 is or could possibly be we have to assume that it’s present and future is fully attached to ourselves. The Web 2.0 is a social mirror. We’re building something new and we’re doing it together.