Monday, June 11, 2007

Web 2.0

The following has been taken from Talesblog with permission. Copyright © Chris Chan.

Web 2.0“. It’s the latest internet buzzword. However, I’m liking the term less and less the more I hear it. This is due to some different things- the Web 2.0 concept is evolutionary not revolutionary, the general “2.0″ stigma, and the nauseating ubiquity of the “Web 2.0″ term. However, I still like the Web 2.0 concept, if not the term.

The Web 2.0 concept isn’t as revolutionary as people make it out to be. User-generated content has been around in some form or another for over a decade - just look at the state of Geocities or Angelfire in 1996 or so. Now Myspace is fast becoming the next Geocities: background music and horribly annoying layouts. (By the way, Xinruilian’s website needs to lose the front page flash and background music. It’s very unprofessional. But that’s for another blog entry.) Anyway, it’s just now that user-generated content is expanding into different forms of media, like video on Youtube. I would say that that’s just natural evolution, rather than some big revolution to be heralded as an entirely different major version number, 2.0.

Speaking of “2.0″, there’s a certain stigma associated with that version number. Take for example Microsoft Windows 2.0. While I have never personally had the misfortune of using that version, I’ve read that it’s horribly buggy, and that the first version of Windows that was actually worth using was Windows 3.11. (Personally, I think the only version of Windows worth using is Windows 2000. It’s relatively stable, and not bloated to the extreme.) Take as another example Firefox 2.0. While I personally prefer it over Fx1.5 because of the integrated spellchecker and other features, others regard it as unnecessarily bloated and unstable. Shiira 2.0 is another “2.0″ browser, one that is actually very buggy and unstable. (It’s for Mac OS X.) The last example is the Texas Instruments TI-34 II calculator. While this isn’t a “2.0″ product per se, it’s still got a horrible user interface. It hides the sine, cosine, and tangent functions under a series of menus, and those are some of the most frequently used keys.

My third point of contention with the “Web 2.0″ term is its nauseating ubiquity. It has over 187 million Google results, and that’s even when it’s in quotes. I can’t even tell you how many times the term has appeared in my IRC logs. I could grep it, but my server would explode from the memory overload. I’m a penniless student, so I wouldn’t have any money to replace it. Suffice it to say that I become nauseated at the first mention of it in any IRC channel.

All this dislike of the term “Web 2.0″ should of course not be misconstrued as my dislike of the underlying concepts, like user-generated content and web applications. Webapps enable more efficient use of the browser; Gmail and Meebo rock my socks. User-generated content is fast re-democratising the internet and taking absolute power from the big content providers. Social networking, as on Myspace and Facebook, connects me with old friends and enables me to make new ones. “Web 2.0″ concepts improve the internet continuously, but I need to see a lot less use of the term.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

LJ talks

The following message appeared today on the home page of LiveJournal concerning the dispute:

Hello again.

I want to update you on the status of correcting the issues that occurred earlier this week:

First, all journals and communities that were suspended that did not clearly violate community policies have been restored. Over the weekend and into the next couple of weeks we will be doing the following:

  1. We will contact each user whose journal was both suspended and then restored to explain how they were swept up in this and to work with them to avoid further difficulties. We expect that effort to start Monday and take several days.
  2. We will be compiling and reviewing the input we have received as comments, voicemails and faxes, that made suggestions about how we could improve our policies and procedures.
  3. Using this input as well as input from outside groups, such as the EFF, we will review and possibly redefine some of our policies.
  4. Then we will review the procedures we use to implement our policies and the standard communications we use in the implementation of those policies.
  5. We will also review all of our abuse procedures and standard communications to users to see if we can do a better job in dealing with abuse issues.

We’ve been getting your calls and faxes, reading comments and posts. While we can’t answer each one individually, we do hear you and your input will be taken into account during this process. Will everyone be happy? No. Do I think we can end up with better guidelines, procedures and processes? Yes.

As I said before, we have a lot of work to do. We are trying hard to keep LJ a community where free speech and the protection of children and victims and others can coexist. We appreciate your input in this process.