back to article Librarians challenge Web 2.0 youf-work myths

From BEA Systems and its soon-to-be owner Oracle, from mighty IBM to a myriad of social network and online office start-ups, vendors have been telling us how the "Google generation" and Web 2.0 will change the way we work. Many have been flogging applications and middleware products, strategies and marketing puff to back this up …

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Isn't 'Web 2.0' just another gimmick?

I mean it's sort of real, it sort of exists, but really, there is no actual 'Web 2.0'.

All that's happening is the backbone of the internet is getting slowly upgraded and lots of websites have sprung up that allow people to stick any old crap for anyone to look at.

However there is a gleam of light in all this garbage.

For example gaming websites, like Bosskillers. Yes I know, but here's my explanation. It may be that the information here is largely useless bollox, but it does what it does very well. The information is properly structured, delivered coherently and in a manner that allows your average person to learn what is being presented.

Now fast forward to the near future and ask if this experience isn't of benefit to those creating websites with some actual useful content.

They know how to structure and present the information in a readable form. They know how to create visual aids and make those aids accessible, and they know how to coherently blend this information together.

So to me Web 2.0 is simply more bandwidth, with some people that know how to make the most of it in a coherent manner. We just don't have anything useful yet, partly because real businesses haven't employed these individuals and given them useful content to present, and partly because you still have to pay for information that is of real use in the real world.

Let me put that in another way, you have wikis and you have websites that have experienced and qualified contributers. The problem is the wikis are free and the real information costs money. When the designers of the wikis are put together with the people that actually know what they're talking about, we'll have something worth calling Web 2.0 - provided the hardware has been upgraded to gigabit while we wait.

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Stop

Urrrr....context, pretty please?

And we cite: "...the report notes while the majority see the benefits, concerns over data security and governance could slow the progress of Web 2.0 development in enterprises"

"I see the benefits" is probably related to the beloved "I have a vision" and the less eloquent "Mmm... mushrooms!", often heard in a strategic meeting or some other dark place in the middle of the night.

Please do say: What exactly _are_ those apparently self-evident benefits? What exactly _is_ that Web 2.0? We demand to know!

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Tail wags dog

What is Web 2.0?

(dives into Reg archive for old funnies...)

I remember El Reg posed the question here -

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/21/web_two_point_nought_poll/

And got some very good answers here -

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/11/web_two_point_naught_answers/

Excellent piece, lacking only a conclusion: if we want to choose tools for collaboration, we ask "what are the best tools for the job?", not "why isn't <insert latest marketing hype> spreading into the enterprise?"

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Pirate

The revolution will not be on YouTube

The thing is, lots of people have got it into their head that a major revolution in the way things are done on the internet equates to a major revolution in the way society works. This just isn't the case.

Most people only use the internet as tool for certain things (depending on the interests of the user), and it is only geeks and journalists who see the internet as an integral part of Western way of life.

Of course the big companies are pushing the idea that Web 2.0 is a social revolution - but that is because they want to make money!

Yes, the internet has changed completely over the last ten years, and yes it will revolutionise the way some people do things. However, most people will live their lives largely as they have done for the last few thousand years - in the real world!

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Happy

Web ....

Isint more like web 5.0 or 7.o or something? really web 2.0 how last decade.

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Web 2.0 == Lotus Notes

If you choose to choose "collaberation software" as your definition of WEB 2.0.

Then it doesnt really seem that revolutionary. Lotus Notes has been promoting collaberation and workflow tools in hte enterprise for some 15 years now.

Given the upopularity (nay hatred) the average user/victim of Notes has for the product, and, that most of the Web based stuff is worse, this does not bode well for WEB 2.0 in the enterprise.

Besides the software engineering wisdom is never install the dot zero version of anything, wait for dot one for testing/pilot and dot three for serious production. So until we get Web 2.3 is doesnt stand a change.

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Gates Horns

Conspiracy theory

I reckon that dear old M$ are behind it all.

It's a (supposedly) graphic-based (ie columns and pictures and layout) thang that looks functional but doesn't get there.

"Hello? PC World? - I'm having trouble with Web 2.0 - it's slow and clunky". "Ah, you need a new laptop with Vista on it"

"Web 2.0 -- powered by Vista-aaargh"

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@James

Interesting you should mention Lotus Notes given this is what many in the Lotus community have been saying since "Web 2.0" was coined.

Lotus, ok, IBM Lotus, have been moving more into the archetypal Web 2.0 sphere recently with Lotus Connections (Activities, Blogs, Communities, Dogear (public bookmarking), and Profiles). Nice product, even if it does require the Websphere behemoth. If you want to see a public site built on it, try www.bleedyellow.com. SameTime IM has been around for ten years, and now does just about everything you want with synchronous communications - IM, click to call, video conf, screen-sharing, gateways to all but one major public IM network (can you guess which the one is?).

At the enterprise level, though, you have to be pretty big, or geographically diverse for a lot of this stuff to really show its mettle. My own corporation can't survive without Notes and SameTime for example, because we have teams working on the same stuff at the same time (sorry) in two different continents, so we really need synchronous communication. On the other hand, we're just not big enough to need the whole internal blogs/communities/profiles stuff internally. And if we want to share funnies, or technical references, we just shove it into one of several replicated nsf's.

And to all the Notes Sucks guys, I'm not interested that your IT department can't evaluate current software and roll it out in a timely manner, ok? If you don't like the tools you're given to work with, if it gives you that much pain, leave the job. You might find yourself working in a place that actually uses software from this century rather than an out of date unsupported ugly thing. I use Notes 8.0 Basic, and it flies. If and when they bring the Admin client to Linux, that's where I'm heading.

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Sorry, forgot some stuff

I mentioned using Notes 8.0, and that I need the Admin client, so many of those Notes Sucks guys might be thinking "well, he's just a bastard admin he enjoys inflicting pain on us poor sods who have to use it", but I started using Notes as an end user, and loved it (this was back in the days before everyone had access to public-facing email at work). Moving on, I was posted to a company that's just announced, with IBM major integration between their telephony gear and SameTime, where Notes and Outlook were used for email. I know which one I preferred to get my in.

ND8.5 is out H2 this year, 8.0.1 next month, and seeing some of the other stuff coming out of Lotusphere this week, I'm getting enthused again. This is always the time of year where my blood holidays from Claret and Blue to bleeding Yellow.

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Anonymous Coward

Backward....

Wow, I can't believe how backward you all are!

Web 2.0? I've been on Web 43.7(beta) for a week now.

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@ Dave Harris

As a Notes developer with 12 years of experience, I just have to thank you for this rare and objective evaluation of the difficulties of Notes integration.

I have heard so many disparaging comments from the Outlook crowd that I just have to acknowledge that the Microsoft interface monopoly has nothing less than a steel grip on the minds of users.

Thank goodness that the future of Notes is being integrated into the backoffice. With the local client gone and everything done by browser, more and more users will benefit from the advantages of Notes without even knowing it.

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