What are Web 2.0, Science 2.0 and Government 2.0 and why do they matter?

The web is firmly embedded in our lives. My teenage kids don’t know, and wouldn’t know life without it. My wife, kids and my mother, who is 80, all have Facebook pages. I can’t imagine how bored my kids would be if the web suddenly reverted back to static html pages, as it was not many years ago. The web has evolved from a place to find information to a place to hang out with friends.

The term Web 2.0 is used to describe a set of cumulative technologies that software developers could use to build applications that enabled everyone to build their own websites, to interact with applications and with each other . For this reason, Web 2.0 is also termed the ‘social network web’. The web is now actively used by every day people to collect and share information.

So what is Web 3.0? I’ve just attended, I should say was ‘engaged’ in the ‘Web 3.0 and the Future of Social Media’ conference in Sydney to find out. Engaged was the most overused word over the two days. However, you can’t escape the fact that ‘social engagement’ is the biggest thing going in the web and is central to its future. As noted by one speaker, the term ‘social media on the web’ is fast becoming redundant as the web is becoming synonymous with ‘social’. Whereas in 2008 mobile phones were the platform of choice for keeping up social interaction by calls and text etc, in 2009, Internet social networks have become the main way for people to connect with each other. (Mark Higginson, The Neilsen Company) 

The name WhereCamp raised more questions than answers when I knew there was going to be one in Madison, following from the NACIS conference. As I discovered a WhereCamp is an 'unconference': a user-generated conference covering topics only relevant to the attendees.

The format went something like this:

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