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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 27 Mar 2006 22:09:52 -0300
Juan Lanus <[log in to unmask]>
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Juan Lanus <[log in to unmask]>
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To me Web 2.0 is about people. Actually, users.

The older web stance was server-centric: from the server to the
clients whoever they were.
In newer web the client role is much more active, leveraging the
multitude of "sand grains" (each one's 2cents in Spanish) that
together can form a beach.

Before the web, Internet was user centric. It was mostly Usenet and email.
The bubble somehow disconnected the users making them sit silently
each one in front of their screens. As opposed to the Usenet times.

The web is a network, but a network of what? Computers?
Yes, in some sense is a computer network. But what turns it
interesting is that's a people network. Women and men actively
communicating "with the aid of" computers.
Not computers communicating but people.

That said, enter technology. For example I remember myself waiting
several minutes for apicture to download thru my 14400 baud modem. Now
it's not so: a session with flickr would be impossible.
I also remember the communication being unstable. I wouldn't depend on
the internet for my email: I wouldn't choose Gmail.
I remember my PC sweating while Netscape4 was seting a page, let alone
resizing the window: Now PCs are much faster.

With the ever evolving technology we can run JavaScrips like Gmail's
(more than 300K) that would have taken ages in my old 486, that if and
only if the 300K could have been downloaded given that the
communication stayed and that a timeout didn't happen.

When the first motorcars were out, it was like with the prior web
implementations, as recalled by Tom Heath. Only one who was akin to
mechanics would ride a car, and mainly for the pleasure of the ride.
Now that anybody, including the less geeky aunt of yours, can ride a
car I envision a more and more ergonomic internet no matter it's

I mention the technological aspects in an attempt to broaden the
Web2.0 concept.
The newer technology, and the more savvy developers, let us make
applications more and more user-oriented, where "user" includes also
that aunt of any of us.

Only one example: many thinkers, poets, philosohoers, are blogging. By
sure they also drive cars. The technological entry level for driving
or for publishing on the web have been lowered, and by a lot.

It's not about AJAX because it could also be Flash or Laszlo or XForms
or Java or good DHTML. Today we say AJAX, soon there will be much
better options. Will it be called Web 3.0? or 2.1? or maybe 3.1416?
As numbers change the constant is design and implementation with the
users in mind.

In such a context every now and then somebody will come with a new
idea on collaboration, ideas that now we regard as novelties but my
children of age about 10 will have lived with them since ever.
For us those ideas are exciting (like the airplane to my grandma). But
it's just a step, one more, many letf.

Sorry for the long. You can stop reading before :-)
Juan Lanus

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