Web 2.0: The Machine is Using Us

Steve Poland at TechCrunch has a link to the video below on the nature of web 2.0. Real interesting stuff. I don’t go for all that “Artificial Intelligence, machines taking over the world” thing. There is more to human intelligence than “knowledge management.” The video is by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Kansas State University. Isn’t that interesting? Not a computer scientist, not a programmer — an anthropologist!

The video presents a broad overview of the difference between 10+ years ago on the web and the social web of today (”Web 2.0″) — focusing on how HTML was used for defining structure and stylistic characteristics (”form”), whereas XML has separated form and content, facilitating data exchange for all kinds of mash-ups.

We’re seeing today with the “widgetizing” of the web that all kinds of content is being made available to be plugged-in to web pages — allowing for wider distribution of content.

Michael’s video asks the question of who will organize all this data — and tells us that we will. He brings to light that with every link we click and webpage we visit — we are teaching the machine.

I also thought his comments on people’s changes in attitudes towards privacy and the web was interesting.

I’m sure there’s data to back me up on this, but today compared to 10 years ago — people are way more comfortable with the Internet and have less privacy concerns. Or at least the younger generations that have grown up with the Internet aren’t as concerned with privacy — and spew what’s on their mind to the entire world via the web.

Did you watch it? Wow! When you look past the tech-wizardry, it is still all about people wanting to engage, communicate, connect and relate to other people.

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