With AJAX technology becoming more widespread, Web2 philosophy gets a strong boost. Social sharing, networking, communities, and online applications are the forebodings of the greatest change the Web has seen in a long time. What’s behind it is a change in culture and maybe a return to the philosophical origins of the first Web community, where not proprietary commercial companies and public authorities ruled, but the free open spirit of creative innovators.

The strong community element of Web2 applications such as flickr or odeo, together with an abundance of online applications for about anything you would want to do on a computer, may create new thinking patterns. It is not so much the “designing your Web-presence to inform” that is important. The core element, rather, seems to be the idea of “being part of it”, “exhibiting and sharing thy inner self” from bookmarks to photos.

The good news: You can now measure your standing in society by comparing your bookmarks with those of other folks. Are you in, are you up-to-date, do you know what’s cool? Show me your bookmarks and I tell you who you are…!

On the readers’ end we may see democracy overpowering broadcasting. Where, previously, search engines spat out information based on “facts” and statistics, we now receive opinions, ratings, and rankings. The more people find a site interesting the more impact it will have – don’t worry about credibility. This will require new skills for evaluating information we get from the Web.

Will the learning landscape be affected by it? Almost certainly. Already personal web usage is changing. Chambers’ model of the student-centred PLE (Personal Learning Environment) away from institutional infrastructure, may still be some way off, but it is a feasible vision of things to come.

========

Here’s a non-comprehensive list of important Web2 sites:

 

{lang: 'en-GB'}