What is This Web 2.0 Thing, Anyway?

I must admit, I assumed “Web 2.0” was merely hype right from the first time I heard the term. To me, it recalled the lingo of the heady, breathless late 1990s dot-com boom.

Now that I’ve learned more about Web 2.0 I think that, as an umbrella concept, it is indeed mostly hype. That is, this term seems to be tossed around mainly in order to promote or sell conferences, books, and consulting services; or to suffuse a person, group, or organization with a vague air of techno-coolness.

Of course, not all hype is useless, or baseless. I actually believe there is considerable value in the Web 2.0 concept. However, what makes it so valuable is not at all new, but rather as old as the human mind itself…

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Del.icio.us: Could You Expand the Notes Field, Please?

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the free online services I love and use daily is Del.icio.us, a popular social bookmarking tool.

I think founder Joshua Schachter has done an amazing job developing and managing this service, despite remarkably meager resources. (At least until recently: Yahoo bought Del.icio.us on Dec. 9, 2005.)

I do have one suggestion that I think would make Del.icio.us even more useful, however.

Joshua, could you please expand the “Notes” field for Del.icio.us entries? Right now it cuts off notes at 255 characters (about 50 words), which I think does a disservice to the potential of Del.icio.us.

Here’s why I’d like to see that field bumped up to, say, 500 or 750 characters (up to 150 words)…

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Babelfishy Occurrence Tunes Me Positively

Earlier today I sang the praises of a kindly German developer, Christian Spannagel, who wrote a search plugin that I’d been wanting. Shortly afterward, he wrote his own blog posting about the plugin, and our interactions which led to its creation.

See: “ My furl archive search plugin” – the title is in English, but the posting is in German.

Now, like most Americans, I’m embarrassingly mono-lingual. Since I don’t read German, I turned to the quirkly automated translation tool, Babelfish, which is always a linguistic adventure. In this case, Babelfish served up a phrase I adore…

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\”My Furl Archive\” Firefox Plugin Now Available

Ask, and ye shall receive…

About a month ago I wrote here about something I’d dearly love to have: a plugin for the Firefox search toolbar that would specifically allow me to search only the contents of my personal Furl archive.

Well, just in time for Christmas, the friendly, enterprising, and generous German developer Christian Spannagel created exactly what I’d asked for. He created a Furl My Archive plugin! I helped him test it, and it works exactly as I’d hoped.

Now you can try it too…

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Embracing Your Learning Curve with Citizen Journalism

(Cross-posted from I, Reporter)

One thing that often holds people back from doing citizen journalism is that they don’t feel like they know enough about an issue or event to cover it well.

I’ll let you in on a secret of journalism: You don’t have to be an expert to be a good reporter. In fact, it helps to embrace your learning curve and just be willing to start reporting from wherever you happen to be along that curve.

Here’s how I did that this week.

…Read the full story at I, Reporter