I sat yesterday morning in a room full of professionals, some from the C-suite and some with the word “coordinator” still in their title. The presenter, Dr. James Hogg from the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality, asked the audience, “How many of you know what Web 2.0 is?” Of course every hand went up, as this was a session about honing social media and networking strategies. But, when he followed with, “Okay, who would like say what it is?” The audience was motionless.
Could it be that these seemingly skilled and respected folks were in the dark on a commonly used term? These people lead board meetings, provide communications consultation to high-level executives, create corporate branding campaigns, manage hundred person teams and have credentials a mile long. But they can’t explain “Web 2.0.”?
Well, I guess I really couldn’t either. I was in that room too, and all of a sudden motionless.
The answer is easy, he explained. It’s two ‘A’ words. Anytime. Anywhere.
Web 2.0 is what the Web is right now. It’s an interactive platform where users can input something and get something else out of it. You can log on to the “Internet” and get the same thing no matter where you access it. I think I knew that, I just couldn’t put it into words.
Shareable platforms like RSS Feeds, Blogs, Wikis, and even Delicious all make up Web 2.0.
Hogg said we’ve been calling it Web 2.0, because it’s different from the original Web 1.0, which was made-up of Web sites that displayed information but didn’t allow two-way communication or interactivity. Web 1.0 had simple pages that told you something you should know, and didn’t ask you anything about you. (Kind of like talking to a narcissist.)
So now you can explain Web 2.0 too.
But beware, just when you’ve become comfortable giving an answer in a presentation about any of the above terms, a whole new slew of them will be out there to learn.