Wednesday 2 January 2008

Two point oh

In my last post I was writing about Beanies 2.0. This has led me to thinking about all things 2.0.

What is 2.0. Well, it is a shorthand for things that are upgraded. More than that, really. Upgraded to include an element of interactivity. The start of this 'trend' was the advent of Web 2.0. The 2.0 implies a new version, although it is not so much the internet has changed but the way that the internet interacts with its users. Web 2.0 is the advent of all the sites like Netvibes, Pageflakes, iGoogle, MySpace, Facebook etc. etc. To read more about Web 2.0 check out the Wikipedia article.

When the web first started there wasn't much interactivity. You came, you read and you went away again. Some people authored sites. Academia used ftp servers to download documents and some anoraks (of which I was one) used telnet to interact with each other. Although technology allowed the internet to become more sophisticated and ISPs encouraged users to use their free webspace the internet was still pretty much one way traffic.

Then we met 'widgets'. You know, those useful little bits of script that do - well, just about anything! And communities began to flourish which relied on user input. There are dozens and dozens of them out there now. If you feel so inclined you can spend your entire day wandering around and interacting with friends, or indeed perfect strangers!

This is now becoming the norm. The boundaries of media are blurring. Everything is pretty much expected to cross all platforms these days. I believe, for example, that Beanies 2.0 will have a strong element of internet interactivity.

The most interesting cross-media usage I have come across this week has to be Maximum Ride. Although intended as a young people's books I am a huge fan of this series, and was given book three for Christmas. Having just finished reading it I decided to check out the web address. Not just a promotional page, but so much more - deeply entwining with the books and going beyond. I guess this is Literature 2.0?!