Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Me 2.0

I’m taking this college course on computer technologies for professional and technical writing. (Yeah, and they have courses on stuff like history of rock and roll. Who's the sucker?) Our first assignment is to browse some books on Web 2.0, just to gain basic familiarity. I say to myself, “Self, I wasn’t even aware they came out with a new update. We should definitely install it on our laptop, because the original web was pretty nifty, so version two should be dynamite!” Allow me to go back and explain a little of my history…

For about three seconds in the early 1980’s I was up to speed on computers. I hung out with some tech-savvy kids. I could hold my own in a conversation on the latest hardware and software, and I could actually use both to nearly their full potential. Over the next decade my computer skills stagnated as the technology rushed forward like a bullet train. I was left standing at the station, and by the time Al Gore became Vice President, I was clueless. I could no more sit in front of a computer and make it do what I wanted than fly to the moon by flapping my arms. I’ve spent the time since then trying to catch up, but I’ve always been two steps behind and about as capable as an average 5th grader. (On some things, more like a below-average one who has to stay after class to get extra help.) I mean, I’ve figured out how to work Word and Excel, how to find what I need on the web (version 1.0) and how to use email. I’m not stupid, just stunted.

So I open a book called Fundamentals of Web 2.0 (an electronic, online edition), and the first thing I learn is that there was no big revision to the internet. The 2.0 is a term someone coined for social networking, which, until recently, I thought was only used by high school kids looking for new ways to spread gossip and consulting firms trying to make a buck with their expertise in... ah, social networking. Apparently, there’s more to it than that, and if I don’t get on board I’ll soon be left even farther behind.

Hence, this thing you’re reading right now. That is, if you didn’t fall asleep two paragraphs ago. If you’re still with me, I’m sure you’ll enjoy future posts on how I’ve learned to Tweet about getting my Facebook LinkedIn to my blog.

Copyright 2011 by W.W. Norton & Company


From Charlotte Temple
by Susanna Rowson. 

This is NOT what they mean by "Social Networking," but it's about as close as I ever came until recently.


  1. Well, Web 2.0 is more than *just* social media changes. It is a web marked by collaboration. Web 1.0 was bunches of static pages put out there by their respective information holders. We, the browser, consumed these informational nuggets and went on our merry way.

    Web 2.0 has much more sharing of information. Instead of going to a site and getting information, we can now contribute as well (Wikipedia and others). The information is no longer static, but ever-changing and growing.

    Simple, eh?

  2. Yeah, Wayne. I got a sense of that from the book and from our class lecture on Thursday. It's a more dynamic, interactive internet... kind of like you compared to ordinary humans.

  3. Oh, and let's not forget: much more intelligent. Now, if they'd modeled it after me, it would be more handsome and more interesting, but actually LESS sociable. It would also LOVE cheese.