I’m adapting this assignment to explaining web 2.0 to my mother. Why? My last living grandparent passed away in 2007 and I never had the opportunity to explain it to him. My mother is a technophobe and for the longest time, refused to learn any technology at all. She was a stay-at-home mother for most of the 1990’s and missed the computer revolution that forced many Baby Boomers to become computer literate. She never felt the need to learn how to use a computer until a year ago when she became quite fascinated with Facebook. My mother is quite an extrovert and interested in what others are doing. Many of her peers have joined Facebook. She visited me last year and announced that she wanted to buy a tablet so that she could connect to Facebook! I laughed and said that hell must have frozen over! We went to Best Buy and I purchased a Kindle Fire for her. We spent part of that weekend and my time home at Christmas explaining the basics of Facebook and email. Needless to say, this assignment hits close to home!
Me: “Mom, Web 2.0 is like a new era in the Internet. Before the early 2000’s, it was not easy to create a web page or upload pictures and videos to the Internet. Its now possible because there are programs that make it easy to make a nice web page and FREE to upload pictures and images:
Mom: “Son, you’ve always been tech-savvy. Weren’t you able to do that in high school?”
Me: “Not really. Back when I was in high school, you needed a flat-bed scanner to make photos digital, a video camera and expensive equipment to make videos digital, and then you had to pay a good bit of money to have images online”
Mom: “So it hasn’t always been free to have pictures and text on the web?”
Me: “No, that’s why the early Internet was for people who were really tech savvy. Plus early web pages were ugly – a lot of plain text, no images or videos. Online storage space has gotten so cheap since the 1990’s, kind of like the way VCR got really cheap from the 1980’s until 2000 or so. Its so cheap to store things online that certain websites are willing to do it for free. Youtube, for example, makes enough money in revenue from ads to allow people to store many, many videos for free”
Mom: “So that’s why everyone is sharing pictures and videos online these days? Its just that easy?”
Me: “Yes and no. There are privacy and ownership issues when you upload things to other peoples programs, like Facebook, Youtube, and Instragram. But generally speaking, the benfits outweigh the costs.”
Mom: “Thats all good to know….so when are you going to add me as a friend on Facebook?”
Me: “Umm, ughh,….how’s the weather been this past week? It’s been quite cold where i live!!”
Web 2.0 is an umbrella term that points to the second stage of development of the World Wide Web. It emphasizes the use of dynamic pages, with responsive design, as well as enhanced user input. The ability to access and control the Web has moved from the province of programming language specialists to the everyday user who understands a GUI. With Web 2.0, user friendly technologies are aiding in the democratization of the internet.