My writing has dropped off when I promised myself that I would do so regularly. So here we are then. Quite a few weeks ago I went to an ALIA event called Web 2.0: from the cradle to the future. It had 40-50 or so people, and I was also fortunate enough to run into Rhys Moult, who I’d previously met on the E-Dayz working committee. It was good sitting next to Rhys, partly because I knew him, but also because it was good to hear comments about a library profession-organised web 2.0 event from a non-librarian’s point of view.
The first speaker was Rod Martin from Era Publications. He spoke well, and his presentation (promoting a web-based children’s book application) was reasonably interesting. It’s only problem was that it had nothing to do with the topic. His main point was that having an on-line product means that digital children’s picture books are more dynamic and adaptable. Which is true. but it isn’t web 2.0. The emphasis with w2 is network creation, content creation and interactivity. This has some interactivity: a child can take the pre-generated characters to create their own stories, which they cannot share, except by printing it. There’s little in the way of sharing and collaboration that marks this as a web 2.0 tool for me.
Kate Sinclair’s Get a (2nd) Life: Virtual Worlds for Teaching and Learning was also an interesting presentation, but also got the collaborative essence. One interesting point was that 2L can model worst practice. For example, students doing a health assessment of a fitness club might see the odd point to criticise, but because it will have had warning it will also have made sure that things are ship-shape. On the other hand, in 2L, students can look at a a problem environment (and can do so without any OHS&W concerns). It also means that there’s an engagement with the process (for example, ‘there’s been an outbreak of legionella: why?’).
Karen Ayles’s presentation on the UniSA Law Wiki was interesting because of how the wiki was used. Essentially, UniSA got a new Law School, and the wiki was to have important Q&A for queries from law students, and to track dtat for those types of inquiries. A good idea. What I found interesting was that the wiki was managed and updated bty a small team, while those people who actually handled the queries couldn’t update it themselves.
As this was being explained, Rhys was shaking his head, and he whispered to me what would become the title of this post. Using web 2.0 tools isn’t web 2.0. Web 2.0 is collaboration, networking, creating, directly. The age of the gatekeepers is fading.