The concept of Web 2.0 has been championed by many brilliant technological and social thinkers. We’re all living in a world where the ideas of Web 2.0 take hold more intensely as each day passes. There are over a billion people on Facebook, and upwards of 500 million users of Twitter. Web sites are relying on interactivity and consumer and social interaction to succeed. Things have definitely changed since the internet of the late 1990s.
This is all for the best of course. As communication gets easier, our world gets smaller. It allows us to have better and more meaningful relationships personally and professionally. But the idea that it is a huge boost to our productivity is hard to prove.
Steven Strauss of Harvard explains in a blog post that we have gained a great deal socially from Web 2.0, but our productivity has not gained nearly as much. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, he just cautions that we won’t see a massive productivity boost all at once thanks to Web 2.0 tech and influence.
The process will be slow, like it was for industrial farming in the last century. Steven writes correctly that “Web 2.0 is an incremental communications improvement – not a revolutionary one.” Businesses are slowly changing and adapting, especially ones that relied on print and traditional distribution methods. Some won’t make it through and that’s unfortunate but inevitable.
Web 2.0 has done amazing things for societies all over the planet. But as Steven suggests, it’s a mistake to think that it is turning us into ultra-productive people. Much of the instant communication that Web 2.0 piggy-backed off of was already in place before it took off.
At the very least, Steven’s take on Web 2.0 is a great read. We recommend you check out the rest of the article, which is linked above. It is well-written and provides a great perspective on where Web 2.0 is right now in its development.