Tom Murphy defines Web 2.0

Tom writes: The exciting thing about Web 2.0 is that people can come together online with a host of new channels, tools and technologies and do amazing things. I was just going to write: Brave Man. What is web 2.0 really about? Funnily enough it’s just over a year since I defined it for myself. … Continue reading “Tom Murphy defines Web 2.0”

Tom writes:
The exciting thing about Web 2.0 is that people can come together online with a host of new channels, tools and technologies and do amazing things.

I was just going to write: Brave Man.

What is web 2.0 really about? Funnily enough it’s just over a year since I defined it for myself. I don’t really buy the user-generated-content thing when there’s media-created effigies creating adulation on YouTube. A lot of the rest turns into noise. How many YouTube videos are worth watching? Likewise, with blogs.

Tom continues:The exciting thing about Web 2.0 is incredibly intelligent people collaborating and sharing.

Sadly this is probably true which is why there are worldwide A-list bloggers, regional A-list bloggers and A-list genre bloggers. And millions of blogs out there owned by people who wonder desperately how to get good results in Webalizer (and wonder further whether their neighbour gets good results and then ponder what exactly a “good” result is?) In Web 2.0, everyone is an eyeball or bandwidth-whore.

Web 2.0 shouldn’t just be about incredibly intelligent people. Or maybe I’ll have to wait for Web 3.0 (and now I’m waiting for O’Reilly to hit me with a trademark violation).

There’s a lot of noise about whether or not Blogging has Peaked.

I don’t think so.

My Dad, card-carrying Luddite that he is, has expressed a desire to start a blog. I have a friend across the world who hates her computer yet is slaved to her anonymous blog. The WOW4KIDS team launched a blog-based reviews system for parents to read reviews and comment on them and, it is hoped, contribute reviews themselves (EDIT: Actually launching proper next month!). If anything, blogging hasn’t peaked but rather has started to cross the chasm.

9 thoughts on “Tom Murphy defines Web 2.0”

  1. What is a blog but a form of diary. I think that apart from the technical hurdles of getting people to blog and helping them understand that blog posts can be public or private, there’s a matter of trust and a lack of understanding of how the law comes into play for defamation. With the advent of Google, slander becomes libel due to the permanence of information. People can be tracked down. An individual can lose his job or have other areas of their lives because of what he puts on his MySpace journal, the groups he shows interest in or even the people he has linked as friends have political affiliations.

    For some, anonymity is important as their subject matter might adversely affect their lives and yet no-one can guarantee this level of protection. For others, a poorly worded opinion may become a court summons. In the last six months, I’ve seen two such cases personally.

    1) an anonymous poster on a forum I run defamed a person working in a large institution. Said institution wasted tax payer money to hire a solicitor to attempt to strongarm me into divulging identities AFTER the offending material had been deleted.

    2) I’ve posted two blog posts on here about the dreadful state of play at Muckamore Hospital in Co. Antrim. The mother of the boy whose plight I described was told that the Health Trust were considering legal action. The fact that over the last two months Muckamore Abbey Hospital has seen lip services from the news media has buoyed up the mothers spirits but ultimately nothing will be done because in Northern Ireland our ministers and senior policy making officials bathe in extra virgin olive oil every day which makes them very slippery.

    Neither case went anywhere (yeah, I have a solicitor too, go figure!) .

    The case remains that individuals don’t want to be identified on the internet. It’s okay for A-listers like Scoble to put their cellphone number on their web site because his business is generating buzz from nothing as he’s a content creator (ironically he’s MEDIA now rather than Web 2.0).

    I published three books during the 90s and after the first one I got a telephone call from a person who wanted to interview me. At 2 am. And they had a big beef with Robert Anton Wilson too.

    No-one wants phone calls at 2 am.

  2. Good points mj – there are several issues in there but not everyone who wants to blog wants to do so anonymously – many of us are happy to be identified because of the nature of the blogs we write and we’re not all as famous as Scoble! I think it’s unfortunate that blogs continue to be categorised as “diaries” as though they are only self confessional spaces (some are, some aren’t). The whistleblower issue is another one entirely and not one I’m qualified to comment on and finally I totally agree with you about defamation and libel because as you say, many people simply don’t understand that once the material is out online it’s simply not coming back. Having said all of that every time I set foot outside my house I’m on CCTV, I’m also being tracked via credit cards and mobile phones. Reality TV has a huge audience – so there’s a wider issue here about privacy that gets lost in all of this that I would love to see more bloggers discussing and taking issue with (and not just in reference to the law). Safety comes with responsibilty – and blogging carries myriad responsibilities. The more we confuse this with anonymous self confessional stuff the less the grown up conversations about these critical issues.

  3. As Scott McNealy said: You have no privacy, get over it.

    For those who are blogging as a means to something else then anonymity may be counterproductive. My father wasnts to blog about the stupidity of the government and the excellence of West Bromwich Albion and I don’t know if any of it going to start conversations or even garner eyeballs but it’s what he wants to do. My other friend I mention in the post runs an anonymous blog because she doesn’t want the readers to be stalking her on the way home.

    I don’t hide, you don’t hide, neither does Tom, Damien, Joe, James, Keith or any of the other names I’ve seen on the Irish IntarWeb – but even within the Irish web there are identities which remain secret. I’ve not been keeping track but 20Major springs to mind. But the people on the Irish web are sometimes doing it for business and are sometimes doing it for identity. Damien, for example, is always a good read and is often the first thought when I think of someone in his market. Blogging as marketing device vindicated.

    Blogging as confessional I think is a necessary thing as well. Blogs like PostSecret serve a valueable purpose in allowing some to breathe through their difficulties, allow others to empathise and still others to reconsider their preconceptions. My own personal blog which has been running for a couple of years is a confessional and not to be confused with the four other non-confessionals that I administer and contribute content to.

    I was recently asked to adjudicate on a set of posts which named and shamed a local company as being shoddy and double-dealing. Hard one to call and even my solicitor (who is becoming used to me being a bigmouth) advised me to tell the poster to tone it down.

  4. Hey I can’t complain about the confessional – I won the best personal blog category last year at the awards for my own musings! but there’s room for all of it and I think the real issue is being clear about the boundaries within which you’re operating.

  5. I blog for “other” reasons myself: writing practise and as a “content-management system”, i.e. someone where to stick stuff so I can point to it later such as copies of forum posts I’ve made, articles I’ve written, things I’ve found, etc.

    I’d have to agree with you, I don’t think blogging has peaked. Blogging has become an integral part of the web. I’ve always considered blogging to be just another take on the normal run of web conversations. Blogging, as a model of conversations, is like a “distributed forum”. In a forum, someone posts on the forum, people comment and reply on the forum. In a blog, someone posts on their site, people can comment and reply but they can also reply on their own sites (thanks to stuff like trackbacks/pings and RSS feeds) and the conversation moves on. If you look at community based collection of blogs, such as LiveJournal, it does certainly feel like a forum. The only real difference is that people can control the comments directly on their site but they can’t stop the conversation being taken up elsewhere.

    Just my 1 euro and 2 cents. 🙂

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