Monday, September 15, 2008

Question 1 – User collaboration in websites

Web 2.0 differs from Web 1.0 in that it allows users participate in content. Web 1.0, that is, the original version of the internet, is static in that creators are the ones to add and edit content. Web 2.0 surpasses this by allowing user contribution.

The article lists some websites that are excellent examples of Web 2.0 like “eBay, Wikipedia, Blogger, Amazon and Google” (Pearce, 2006). These sites share the characteristics of Web 2.0. These include being based on large data repositories, encouraging user input and allowing relationships between different services. These are all important as it allows Web 2.0 sites to remain fluid and therefore meet the aim of Web 2.0 of allowing “people to contribute and share information in previously unavailable ways” (Pearce, 2006).

Two projects of the National Library of Australia are used in the article as examples of how Web 2.0 works. These sites are the flickr Pilot Project and Australian Dancing. The flickr Pilot Project is an image based site in which users can add photos. This meets with the web 2.0 philosophy of user participation. The pictures uploaded on flickr are then added to the Picture Australia site. Users can add tags to pictures to identify the subject of the picture which then assists other users in finding images when searching. This website exemplifies web 2.0 in that users work together to the benefit of everyone and allows more content to be added than would otherwise be possible. The flickr Pilot Project also has benefits for other websites. Not only has it added to the coverage of Picture Australia’s content but it has also increased the awareness the community has for this site. This then shows how web 2.0 theory can transfer to other sites, without that site specifically using web 2.0 technology.

The second project the article discusses is the Australia Dancing Takes Part project. This site contains biographical material about Australian dancers. It is an extension of the Australia Dancing website in response to user demands. As users discovered that they were not included in the biographies in Australia Dancers, the Takes Part project was launched to combat this. The Takes Part project uses web 2.0 technologies to allow users to input to the information contained in the biographies. Policies exist to maintain the integrity of the website and users need to follow these when contributing information. Although this web 2.0 method of writing biographies has attracted speculation about the quality of biography provided by users the project continues and theories of how it could be fully incorporated into the Australia Dancing website are being discussed.

The article provides not only an excellent description of web 2.0 but also provides Australian examples of this. In addition to this, the article provides examples of how web 2.0 can be included in existing web 1.0 websites such as the flickr Pilot Project and the Australia Dancing Takes Part project, both from the National Library of Australia.

Reference List
Pearce, J. (2006) User collaboration in websites. Retrieved September 7, 2005 from

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