Web 2.0 and the Implications on Modern Society

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Web 2.0, what are the implications on society?

In this project I will be discussing, the web , its history and growth into web 2.0 and how it changed the world and what impact that had on a variety of media institutions and media forms, and in particular the implications on society. I will be trying to find out myself if the internet is for better or for worse. Web 1.0 formally known as the World Wide Web was introduced to the public in 1991, and was a revelation to all who used it, an unlimited information source some saw it as, others saw it as a communication source and others saw it as just anther media platform, Bill Gates in His book The Road Ahead (1996:26) describes the internet as ‘becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow’. The origins of the World Wide Web began long before this back in the 1960’s, to date there are contradicting theory’s on how the internet began , the only point which all seem to agree with was the Arpanet project in 1969, the project took place in the US and was funded by US tax money. The Arpanet was not an internet, it was a connection between two or more computer networks the aim was to try and make the computers understand and encrypt messages through a network, this idea was called ‘packet switching’, the first message was sent in 1969 from a computer science professor and his team at UCLA to Stanford research institute, and this was a part of the Arpanet project. Web 1.0 consisted of Homepages rather that were personal to the designer and in relation to the design the pages were static and in terms of interactivity. The end user could not impact or change the website in any way. The main emphasis behind web 1.0 was that it was a large scale of information produced by only a couple of web producers for the masses, so it could just easily be changed or modified, so in basic terms the authorities of the web, held all the keys in terms of development. Web 2.0 was the stage of interactivity in the internet world it’s the stage in which every person was made to feel apart of the internet experience and can influence it, although the term web 2.0 suggest a better version of web 1.0 its actually describes the change in how developers and users use the web. Benjamin Woolley in Virtual worlds (1992) predicted that the internet would become a place where ‘the users and producers of there own material’. When we consider the modern state of Internet this is true, for example with the ever increasing social network sites this seems to be relevant. To date Facebook has 400 million active users, all able to place upload there own content, make there opinion herd and become the users of other content for example viewing other peoples personal profiles and interacting with them. `In cyberspace, everyone is an author, which means that no one is an author: the distinction upon which it rest, the author distinct from the reader’ (Woolley). The whole thesis behind web 2.0 is that is for everyone, anyone can make there mark unlike web1.0, due to the advancement in interactivity it is made the internet a more user friendly place than previously, where almost anyone with basic computer knowledge could navigate there way around the space. The main advancements to take note of in web 2.0 are web applications such as java script which helped interactivity and the style of web 2.0 , e.g. more features such as widgets , encrypted videos and music soundtrack as well as alternating html as the mouse moves over the web page in term of background and CSS design. Social networking unlocked a new venture for the internet with the introduction of web 2.0 in the way of virtual communities or network society’s, according to Elisabeth Reid (1993:6) ‘internet users constitute a social network who share a common language, a shared web of virtual and textual significance that are substitutes for, and yet distinct from the shared networks of meaning in wider...
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