While we had our coffee with the Globe this morning, my husband read me a headline. “’To reach out, O’Malley turns to blogging’ You blog. Does everyone blog?” I thought about it as I drove into work. If the Cardinal of the Boston Archdiocese is blogging, does that mean Web 2.0 is actually mainstream? The headline writers expected readers to know what blogging meant. Does that mean the 2.0 vocabulary – blogs, wikis, tagging, folksonomies – are common terms? Sometimes I feel I’ve just got my understanding around them and here they’ve already become part of the Globe’s lexicon.
Simply stated, Web 2.0 refers to the social web where the users are identifying and giving subjective meaning to content. Users add comments and tags to information which help other users to find relevant content. If I find your tags to be really helpful, I might look at what else you’ve tagged. Your classification system might match my learning style better than an established taxonomy. All users become members of this enormous community where users interact with information, not just seek information. (Will this make members more critical users of information I wonder?)
And, as the Web morphs to 2.0, so do libraries. One of the librarians’ goals here is to see how 2.0 tools fit our mission. Our blog is one tool to give information about what’s happening with our library program. We have started a Flickr account to share pictures of what we’re doing. In our courses on Classrooms on Elm Street (our Moodle course management site) we are experimenting with using wikis as part of the research process. In fact Moodle embraces 2.0 with RSS feeds, comments on glossary entries, wikis, and discussion boards. It is an exciting shift in how we interact with information. Stay tuned as we comment on our exploration of 2.0 this year.