12 نوفمبر 2009

Post-Interactivity


Post interactivity is a term used to describe the developments of the internet since 2006 based on the technologies of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0. The precursors of this new era started with the beginning of the 21st century.
Before we go, we need to clarify what is meant by Web 2.0 and Web 3.0. "The term Web 2.0 is commonly associated with web applications which facilitate interactive information sharinginteroperabilityuser-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Examples of Web 2.0 include web-based communities, hosted servicesweb applications, social-networking sitesvideo-sharing siteswikisblogsmashups and folksonomies. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with other users or to change website content, in contrast to non-interactive websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of information that is provided to them." (Wikipedia.org)
The main aim of Web 2.0 is to make it easier for the internet users to communicate and share information with each other. The term was first used in 2004 after the O'Reilly Media Conference of that year. Web 2.0 is not based on developments in the technical side of the internet; however, it is an improvement in the way web developers and internet users deal with the internet. We can call it a new philosophy or culture of how to use the internet.
Web 3.0 is widely associated with what is called the Semantic Web. "The Semantic Web is an evolving development of the World Wide Web in which the meaning (semantics) of information and services on the web is defined, making it possible for the web to understand and satisfy the requests of people and machines to use the web content." (Wikipedia.org)
However, there is no one agreed-upon definition for Web 3.0. Some consider the websites that use the 3D technology, such as Secondlife.com, one aspect of Web 3.0.
Around 5 or 6 years ago, the internet community was divided into content producers and content consumers with a very limited relationship between the two of them. The concept was "we produce, you consume." There was one producer producing content for many consumers. Therefore, we can describe the internet flow as one-to-many. The limited forms of interaction between the consumers and the producers included a comment posted on the content and, sometimes, a discussion on a certain forum about the topic.
However, since the end of 2005, this has changed. Since this time, the borders between producers and consumers have vanished. Every internet user nowadays has the ability to produce and consume web content at the same time. No more one-to-many internet flow; the content is now flowing in multiple directions (many-to-many). This means that the producer can be a consumer, and the consumer can be a producer. A new concept was introduced. In user we trust. This is one of the main concepts of the post interactivity era of the internet.
During this 5 years, a lot of websites emerged. These websites' aim was to include the internet users into the content production process. Follow some easy steps, and you will get a free account that enables you to upload videos, audio files, images, texts, or a mixture of all of them; and share this content with the world. Now the world can hear your voice. Facebook.com, Blogger.com, Youtube.com, Flickr.com, and Twitter.com are just few examples of these new websites.
The post interactivity era of the internet has many attributes. One of these attributes is the concept of Citizen Journalist. "Citizen Journalism (also known as 'public', 'participatory', 'democratic' or 'street journalism') is the concept of members of the public 'playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information,' according to the seminal 2003 report We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information. Authors Bowman and Willis say: 'The intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires.' Citizen journalism should not be confused with community journalism or civic journalism, which are practiced by professional journalists, or collaborative journalism, which is practiced by professional and non-professional journalists working together. Citizen Journalism is a specific form of citizen media as well as user generated content." (Wikipedia.org)
In addition, an important attribute of this era is the inability to censor the web content. Those in power, governments for example, no longer can prevent anybody from producing and disseminating any kind of information on the internet. Taking blogs as an example, any blog owner can export the content of his blog to his computer, so, if the government or any other person closed his blog, he can create a new one with the same deleted content.
A last attribute of the post interactivity era of the internet is the credibility that blogs have gained among internet users. Nowadays, blogs challenge the major media sites and compete with it through publishing the information that these major sites cannot publish or try to keep it hidden.

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