The New Social Arena: Web 2.0

[This is a translation of an old post, I’ve it wrote in English now]

There are a lot of us that already know it. You and me are now on it, and this “being” is the beginning of the differences with our physical world, but also the beginning of the coincidences.

When we say we are in a Coffee shop, we are talking, must of time, about staying physically and in a given moment in a physical place that we agree to call “Coffee shop”. When we say we are in a Web page or in a Blog, the physical and temporal concurrency is no longer concurrent at all. When you read this words I will be probably sleeping, in my way to office, buying food for my dog, or doing any other thing quite distinct to be reading at your side. And now that I’m writing, you don’t know that some time in the future you will be reading these words, probably you are now watching a movie, taking your breakfast or searching for the TV remote.

In this new “virtual” arena, that time to time is less virtual, the concurrency is not about time or physical places, but with “moments” and informational places. And the most interesting thought is that this new way of understanding places and moments is not hard for any of us.

Humans beings are communication machines, we can’t stop doing communication (some times we do it wrong, but we do it). As Watzlawick points out in his communication axioms, humans “cannot not communicate”. Maybe this face of human nature is the explanation for our easy understanding of the new concepts for place and moment.

The Web was, a couple of years before, somewhere to retrieve information, a virtual zone where documents and software applications inhabit, but this was a very promising extension for letting it just as that. We throw ourselves in the conquest of this “virtuality”, we get everything we have at hand to convert this place in our place. We take of this new continent from the machines and bits, we make it our, we make it social. So deep was this change, that we consider there was need for a new “version”, we call it Web 2.0.

If you don’t know this term, please note that this is not the same as Internet II or a new browser version. The real change was in the way we use the Web.

Now posting in a Blog is not anymore a “nerds” activity, but another form of interaction between us, between human beings. As we go out to see a movie, or to take a walk on a mall, now we can “go out” and take a walk in a Blog or in some other social web site. We can meet new people, chat with old friends, get a discussion with a colleague, all within the Web (just for not talk about instant messaging services).

Our findability problems are not anymore about documents or information, but about people. Information is still there, but now the main characters are us again, the human beings and our communicative obsessions.

The Web 2.0, also called social, has changed even the way we work out of it, as well remarked by Michael Platt in his paper Web 2.0 in the Enterprise published in the last number of The Architecture Journal from Microsoft.

Games, software, devices, and everything in our technology deployment is aware about this new Web “browsing”. This way of living in On Line. And this is what Web 2.0 is all about, to having an extension of our physical world, an extension for being our selves, with no need for virtualities of any kind. Is just, let me say, a coordinate system change. A change in the way we communicate.

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