Friday, June 8, 2007

Explaining Web 2.0

Many times I am not able to articulate Web 2.0. to my Extension friends. Recently, an Extension administrator asked how these tools are beneficial to our local agents. Unfortunately, in my short meeting with him, I was not very convincing.

Part of the problem of explaining benefits is that I also have to explain the change in structure of communications and delivery. Dr. Moira Gunn of TechNation interviewed David Weinberger author of Everything is Miscellaneous on June 3.

Weinberger explains how digital content has many meanings and it is futile to try to create order "before hand" because someone has to make decisions as to the order. With more and more information, any person can order the content in a fashion that becomes meaningful to that person, rather than trying to order the content at the beginning of the process.

Also, knowledge becomes social knowledge--social knowledge becomes more reliable than single-source-expert knowledge. Additionally, Weinberger addresses trust in social environments and how giving up control of content is beneficial.

This 21 minute interview is a very good reference and explanation to share with those who understand how we distribute content linearly, but do not understand how knowledge is spread in a chaotic, unplanned, and unstructured way.

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