January 9, 2007
Topic: Web 2.0 -- Time Magazine's Person ... er, Phenomenon of the year
This year's Times Magazine Person of the Year went to no singular individual, but to the collective group of internet users who contribute to what has been dubbed “web2.0”
“What is Web2.0?” you may be wondering; and if so, well read the article(a), but basically it's not any particular new technology, it's a new phenomenon on the Internet of community driven content -- it's the the social networking aspect of the Internet, like MySpace, Podcasting, blogging, YouTube, and some really cool new things like The Digg(b), and Revision3(c), and TWiT(d). It's a lot of what I mentioned in a posting about what I described as Alternative Media(e) on this blog. So I guess web2.0 even includes Huffmania weB-LOG. Well I'm honored Time Magazine. Last year you choose Bono; this year me (and about 300 million other people). It's flattering really.
One of the most interesting variations of web2.0, I think, are these virtual worlds that are cropping up, where you can create a virtual self, and a virtual dwelling, and virtually do anything. There are even virtual economies that exist in these virtual worlds that allow users to actually earn REAL money. Real companies are even having virtual press conferences in these virtual worlds. One of the best examples is Second Life(f), a 3-dimensional virtual landscape where you can buy virtual land, and sell your virtual wears or virtual services. In Second Life you can even get an education or get involved in non-profit work supposedly...What?! I haven't tried it out, because honestly, who has the time?? I'm too busy with the Real World to get involved with something like Second Life. I'll become more than a little creeped-out when the real wold becomes indistinguishable from these virtual worlds. Imagine a future where you can interact in a virtual world that is indistinguishable from the real world. People would stop living in the real world because in a virtual world there is no real danger. This is sounding more and more like the plot of the Matrix...Scary.
Here is a really cool poster(g) I heard about on the Net@Night(h) podcast (another fine example of web2.0). It's a map depiction of what the Internet might look like if it were a physical place. I'm already a map freak. I love maps. I think what's really cool about this is how it visually paints a picture of the huge virtual landscape that the Internet has made possible. Take a look and notice all the brands you recognize--you might be surprised.
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