For years we have been reading about social networking, Web 2.0 and the next generation of the internet – how things would move from the static fixed content we knew to the dynamic interweaved world we would grow to love. I heard about Web 2.0 sometime in 2005 and since that points I have been looking for a seismic event; a real signal things had changed for most people. I believe that point is upon us, we are now in web 2.0 and like most changes in life – most people didn’t even notice it. What’s my big example? I’m afraid it’s our friends across the pond and their recent vote for the next tenant in Pennsylvania Ave.
Mash ups funnelling multiple data sources into one widget are common place in certain circles; I’m sure I have used them to watch the results for the last UK election and several by-elections but they are typically limited and certainly not used by the population at large. This changes with something on the scale of the US election, arguably one of few events the world looks at, around, under and over for months with the culmination of one bit data rich count. What makes me think this was the web 2.0 turning point? Simply by the volume of good examples of dynamic content within main stream sites
Google did its usual job of pulling complicated data into an effortlessly simple interface but other sites added a more community feel like the BBC who went mash up mad with a great mini site integrating voters experiences with proportional representational mapping. Away from the main sites techpresident.com interweaved blogs and social media sites. If that isn’t enough data was also available in a customised iPhone interface
What does this all mean for everyone? Well good things of course – in the modern world we have access to a huge amount of data but it’s of little use if we can digest it – web 2.0 can help with that digestion. Even better we can move on from talking about web 2.0 and enjoy it.
PS – for those of you interested it seems like Obama will not be able to keep his trusty BlackBerry as he moves into office; though he is petitioning to be the first (first!) US President with a laptop computer on his desk
PPS – A great video from YouTube explaining Web 2.0