Library 2.0

the future of libraries in the digital age


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I don't know how many of you have been around long enough to remember the joy that was gopher. How much easier it was to just pick off a text menu than use the command-line codes to connect to what you wanted. That was 1992/93 or so.

Then came Mosaic, and a new world opened up. The Mosaic people went on to create Netscape in what was that 94?

But now we are experiencing web 2.0 technologies. How long do you think until lots of "regular" people (not just college kids) catch on to web 2.0?

I've been thinking that the shift to web 2.0 is going to be bigger than the shift from gopher to web 1.0.

I just feel like we are just about to break another wave of change. I hope we as libraries are ready for it.

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Oh yes!! I loved Gopher when I first found it. So much information, and no need to worry about (to me) arcane commands. I hadn't thought of Gopher to WWW as an analogy for Web 1.0 to Web 2.0, but it makes sense. You're right in that there are lots of people who are still unaware of all of this - across all the generations.

I really don't know how long it will be until the "regular" folks catch on, but I'm glad we're all talking about it and working with it now.
Lots of regular people are catching on Right Now! We have just completed the '23 Things' Learning 2.0 Program with our staff.
We are certainly on the Wave.... if not hanging ten!
I know lots of people seem to cringe from the term 2.0 but it's short and we all know what it means. I also like to use the term 'Participatory Web". People are definitely engaging in this medium.
I agree, Dee, lots of people are catching on.

But how do you determine "critical mass" so that you can just say to a random person "look me up in ning" and they will know what you are talking about?

I don't mind "web 2.0", but "library 2.0" gets on my nerves (I guess because I think we are on library 11.5 at least, and there are cases to be made for library 124). "participatory web" is nice.
Why not sign off on our emails "Look me up in Ning!
Link to Ning on our Blogs.....word soon gets around in the library world.
Ah, memories! Like others here, I was working on early campus information systems on gopher servers and early web servers in the early 90's. The first internet class I taught was on gopher, telnet and ftp. Those were something of a hard sell! Though we had fun with those classes and could see the potential for finding information, it was a relief to have Mosaic come along.

I think from the point of view of everyday users, the leap from gopher to Mosaic was the bigger revolution in internet use. Web 2.0 apps seem more evolutionary to me. The people who came to mind when I saw this thread were my relatives (old and young!) The don't recognize web 2.0 services as such. But they do know flickr, they know, they know they can read blogs, they can use myspace and so on. It's just the web to them. Cool, fun, useful, interesting, but not the revolutionary move that it was to get on the web to begin with.

Revolutionary to those of us studying the trends, evolutionary to others. Do I sense a good research topic - as someone used to say "I feel a PhD thesis coming on...."!
Yes, I guess the day that you first see the WWW is a day you don't forget (I think I can still remember, LITA Denver).

And the evolutionary difference of "the first time I saw myspace/flickr/etc." might have a bigger effect, but is not as different.

Just as the change from "i've got a phone on my wall at home" to "i've got a phone in my pocket" is not as different, until you realize that you've gone from "people can sometimes get in touch with me" to "anyone can find me no matter where I am, and me them". It is a bigger shift, but since it came as a second or third step, it doesn't weem as big.
I agree that the leap from text-based hierarchical browsing to graphical hypertext content felt like a revolutionary change at the time and that the comparably significant changes that we're seeing now appear less like a sea change than the emergence of the web did. There's perhaps a slightly different distinction that comes to mind for me in thinking back on those times. As one of the gopher pioneers, I think that it played an important role as a proof of concept that large amounts of distributed information could be virtually gathered together and organized to make it more usable. In the early days of the web, that same role was played by some of the predecessors to the search engines. For instance, in its earlier incarnations, Yahoo! was not significantly different from a gopher directory overlaid with a WAIS search engine. You could choose to browse through the directory hierarchies or you could search to find relevant directory entries.

To my mind, the more revolutionary aspect of the web was how quickly it became easy for individuals to set up websites and create their own content. Those are the parallels that seem to be playing out on a grand scale now with the various Web 2.0 platforms that again make it easy to create your own content, but this time in the context of a broadly socially connected environment.

The other metaphor that comes to mind is that of the difference between closed stacks accessible only via a paging service to open stacks in which the user is empowered to mingle with the content, to run across the unexpected via serendipity, and to perhaps run into a friend along the way and strike up a conversation.


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