Through The Looking Glass Of Web 2 0

Through The Looking Glass Of Web 2 0

Until I tried it, the​ whole 2.0 thing seemed like a​ joke to​ me. But the​ switch between the​ Google, Yahoo, MSN search engine Web 1.0 war and​ the​ environment of​ Web 2.0 is​ drastic.

For those of​ you who remember using a​ card catalog at​ the​ public library, the​ change is​ similar to​ the​ one you experienced using a​ computer to​ find a​ book for​ the​ first time. No endless cabinets of​ cards to​ hunt through. No misplaced cards that meant you wouldn't find the​ book you were looking for​ that day. Every book in​ the​ library accessible from one keyboard.

In 2.0, knowledge is​ fast. it​ moves at​ the​ speed of​ the​ keyboard and​ web form. a​ story from New York hits the​ West Coast in​ the​ time it​ takes a​ web page to​ refresh. and​ when a​ network build on speed puts a​ premium on those sites and​ bloggers that can get information first, news hits even the​ gardening forums before it​ even reaches the​ cable news networks.

This is​ drastic transition in​ the​ evolution of​ the​ speed of​ knowledge. With the​ invention of​ the​ printing press by Johann Guttenberg in​ 1440, the​ rate at​ which knowledge spread become quicker. Word of​ mouth was no longer the​ only way to​ receive news. Afterwards came mail, newspapers, television, and​ 24 hour cable news. Each a​ leap forward from the​ past form of​ media.

Then came the​ internet. Within a​ few short years, knowledge was accessible from everywhere with a​ few clicks of​ the​ mouse. We can now store more information on our hard drives than we can find at​ the​ local library.

Now, with web 2.0, the​ filter and​ wait time of​ search engines is​ taken out. Some might say that this cuts down on accuracy, but with time, I think it​ will improve accuracy. Search engines try to​ guesstimate what searchers want by applying an​ algorithm to​ what they type in​ the​ form. With the​ new animal, people are the​ algorithms.

When I started building my library of​ musical tastes, I usually discovered new music through people that listened to​ the​ same type of​ music I listened to. if​ we both listened to​ Pink Floyd than I might take the​ chance and​ listen to​ some other music they suggested to​ me. This is​ a​ much more effective way to​ find new information than with an​ algorithm. Let people be your algorithm. Let links be distributed through the​ lateral route of​ tastes, themes, and​ interests rather than the​ direct route of​ search engines that require a​ user to​ know almost exactly what they want to​ find before they search.

There is​ also a​ time element involved. Some search engine results are just old. They aren't what you are looking for. Some engines literally make sure links are aged before they are given the​ status they deserve.

In 2.0, a​ hour is​ a​ long time and​ a​ month is​ a​ lifetime. When searching through tagged sites or​ feeds, a​ site may gain 100 links to​ it​ in​ an​ hour by taggers. a​ traditional search engine can't keep up with this. This type of​ link growth would have to​ be run through filters to​ check for​ spam or​ other tactics to​ artificially increase it's rank. and​ still, the​ baby gets thrown out with the​ bath water a​ multitude of​ times.

Traditional search engines base all of​ their ranking systems on the​ votes of​ people who know how to​ build websites or​ at​ least post to​ forums. This is​ not very balanced. Sitting at​ the​ computer screen, you can assume all you want, but step out in​ the​ real world and​ just try to​ talk to​ anyone about HTML. Then you realize these are unheard internet votes.

Tagging and​ other web 2.0 technologies have brought a​ little more balanced to​ the​ system, giving those, whose tech savvy stops at​ bidding on Ebay, the​ internet right to​ vote. and​ when I finally got the​ chance to​ check it​ out by spending the​ last few weeks in​ the​ stream of​ web 2.0, I realized my whole vision was a​ little short sided. Sitting in​ box, typing code all day can skew your version of​ the​ world. Judging the​ needs of​ an​ internet audience by the​ whims of​ an​ algorithmic internet program can skew this vision even more.

Web 1.0 is​ Plato's cave, only shadows of​ the​ true internet traffic flow. as​ Web 2.0 technologies become more mainstream, the​ traditional search engine will have to​ adapt to​ a​ more democratic union between "internet land owners" and​ those who only surf but probably make up a​ greater part of​ internet users.

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