As I have already mentioned in a previous article, article in which most probably I haven’t been too original, opinion you may share only by reading the article, web has changed the world. But how did this change happen? What process did it activate? What changes will follow? Maybe if we try to analyze the dynamics which have brought the net to the attention of our society, it will be easier to realize or simply to guess what the future will bring or at least a part of it.
I would like to start from one consideration: the first web or web 1.0 whose diffusion took place in the 1990s offered static contents that hardly changed as the days went by, with graphics package similar to that of the newspapers. The pages were columns structured with a title or a subtitle and a text. The images applied were a few as well as the colors, but the difference which strikes more than all, is how the contents were rarely put through an updating. It surely looked alike with the good “old newspaper”, but being on web, it turned out to be of no use, not even fit to wrap the fish in. It is not hard to find online “old web pages” which describe an event or a service or even disused old blogs whose last, and sometimes the only post, is dated 1995 or 1996.
The biggest limits were of technical nature, the creation of the web pages was often delegated only to the computer technicians, sometimes even to improvised technicians. The action of publication had to submit to a wearing “braid” which considerably slowed down the updating of the contents, to not mention the editing of macroscopic grammatical errors.
Do not misunderstand me, every rule has its own exception, there are examples in the first web that excel in communication and navigation, however often thanks to the inspiration of one individual and not due to the “teamwork.”
I dare to compare these first pages to the first prehistoric icons carved in stone. They have many aspects in common! First of all, they are hard to cancel or even change, second, they were created by using primitive tools and last but not least, there was no awareness from the maker regarding the importance of his creation, the conception of a rough and primitive product from the communicative point of view even though of inestimable value.
Therefore the stone age of the web coincides with the web created in the twentieth century and the “stonepages” have been the direct expression of it. A good web expert has in his drawer a list of stonepages links, web pages designed at the end of the 1980s and in the early 1990s.
Continuing our cursory and general analysis, we ought to underline the incredible evolution made by technology and the way it progressively succeeded in producing more dynamic and interactive tools, creating software which permit the editor to insert and publish contents in complete autonomy. Equally decisive was the diffusion of tools which simplified and speeded up the creation of multimedia material such as digital cameras, high tech video cameras, audio tools and so on…
The electronics and the computer science have certainly given a conclusive contribution by proposing new tools, simple to use and affordable to everyone.
So, the new Web has its genesis in the innovation, but such a mass and a transversal process cannot be limited to some extra bit and chip, the step-change took actually place from the very moment when the persons, the people, the vulgo, took knowledge of these tools and begun to use them daily.
This excessive use, not only has immediately determined new forms of communication, of social exposure, but above all, it has induced new requests of use, clearer.
Being an experienced computer scientist I know that the good result of a project, of a software programming service, depends very much on the actual use/ liking of the internet user as well as on the quantity of suggestions actually applied by him to the software.
The stage two of 2.0 is characterized by the users’ ability in over stimulating the means at their disposal finding sometimes innovative and original ways of use, sometimes even suggesting new developments.
The stage three of 2.0 has been even more important because it had turned millions of individual web users into a virtual society and some of the web tools into social networks, in other words, it has been created the first de facto virtual agorà. The stage three surprised everybody, even the most optimistic employees for its intensity, but above all, for the course of the phenomenon. As I already mentioned a few pages ago, there was some billion of people who felt alone, who had that tribal necessity to exchange two words, to feel each day alive by bringing in one’s own small way his fast and precious contribution.
The society is caught by this network and it won’t succeed in going out of it.
The second and the third stage have had a massive impact on the tools proposed by web, bringing new stimuli and a lot of money to those people able to plan and succeed in innovation.
The stage four of the new web is nothing but a second turn of field: further innovation, greater use and identification from the individual as well as further borders’ extension of an already mass phenomenon.
At this point of my monologue it becomes clear that the web 2.0, which all of us are experiencing, is a circular phenomenon, rapid and in constant growth. A circular phenomenon which rotates fast inserting a centrifugal force that runs over all the participants! Just imagine a billion of paper handkerchiefs which rotate at an incredible speed inside a huge washing machine. For this reason, when we use a new tool provided by social networks we feel sometimes played-out, we are into the spin cycle…
The spin cycle has another evident collateral effect, it expels, throw out from its center the heaviest objects: politicians who love the monologue, researchers who use complex tools and well-structured publication procedures, whoever wants to keep a secret, long-winded orators, and others…
If you are not cooperative, if you don’t want to take a challenge, if you think it’s better to communicate using ways and slang typical of last century, or if you are just too slow, you don’t live the real-time web, or perhaps you are not fit at all for the innovation, then my friend, you are out of web, you exist “only “as a real person, but from the virtual point of view, you are simply meaningless.