Web 2.0 And User Generated Content: The Effect Of User Generated Content On The Quality Of Published Content Is A Hotly Discussed Subject.

1351 words - 5 pages

Web 2.0AbstractThe effect of user generated content on the quality of published content is a hotly discussed subject, with many supporters for both sides of the argument. It is felt that non-experts publishing material online gives ambiguity to the validity of the information supplied. Also, there is the issue of the publication of offensive material on the web. On the other hand, it is believed that the combined knowledge of essentially all users is greater than that of an expert. In addition, there are the fundamental benefits of social networking, opening up a world that would otherwise be unavailable to many users and the closing of the gap between amateur and professional web development.KeywordsWeb 2.0, User Generated Content, Social Networking.1. IntroductionWeb 2.0 is the buzzword on everybody's lips, but what is it? And what are the effects of this development on our online society. The production of sites such as Wikipedia, Facebook and Flickr has generated an online world the user controls. Is there a need to monitor this activity?2. What is Web 2.0?Tim O'Reilly gives an excellent explanation of Web 2.0:"Like many important concepts, Web 2.0 doesn't have a hard boundary, but rather, a gravitational core. You can visualise Web 2.0 as a set of principles and practices that tie together a veritable solar system of sites that demonstrate some or all of those principles, at a varying distance from that core." (O'Reilly 2005)The term was originally conceived to convey a change in web development and usage; it also helped to change users' perception of the web. It has been speculated that the use of '2.0' gives the incorrect impression of a new version of the web as this is the format in which software versions are specified. Contrary to this belief, the main elements of the internet and the core principles of the technology are still the same, the difference is how the data is managed, distributed and supplied.Pre Web 2.0, now referred to as Web 1.0, sites where static information was presented for consumption. Publishers supplied information and users consumed it. Web 2.0 creates an interactive web experience for the user who is also the supplier of content. The web is currently about services rather than software and the creation of web based software. Once online, a user can use the facility with no need to install any software, worry about licensing or compatibility issues.3. Virtual CommunitiesSocial networking is a very important part of the Web 2.0 revolution. Services such as Flickr, Facebook, Bebo and MySpace have been embraced across the world. The advantages of such communities are clear. Not only do they allow friends and family that are geographically separated to continue to be very involved in each other's lives, it also allows strangers from many cultures and educational backgrounds to feasibly communicate and socialise.Facebook and Bebo are quite similar in that they allow the user to create profiles to which they can add...

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