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Want to Teach People About Web 2.0? Do It Through Facebook

I've talked here many times about the difficulties in teaching people about the concepts and tools of Web 2.0. I've lamented how difficult it can be to help people understand RSS or wikis. The Common Craft videos have begun to fill that gap, certainly, but as Facebook becomes more and more mainstream, Aidan Henry points out that Facebook is Bringing Web 2.0 to Mainstream:

Those who live in this (Web 2.0) echo-chamber glorify the trends and technologies, as their value and potential is recognizable. This bleeding-edge Internet group wants the world to learn about these technologies, but the fact of the matter is that they are very daunting and intimidating to the average user. In other words, web 2.0 needs to be humanized before it can ever be adopted by the mainstream.

Who is leading the pack when it comes to humanizing web 2.0? Facebook. Here is proof: Facebook new logoask any Facebook user if they know what RSS is or if they’ve ever used it? Chances are they have no idea what it is and they’ll admit to never using it. Little do they know, the Facebook ‘News Feed’ is essentially a rebranded RSS reader. Instead of pulling blog posts and news articles, the reader aggregates updates from your friends’ profiles.

He goes on to link virtually every Web 2.0 tool we know, from "blogging" to "widget" to a Facebook feature.

Now not everyone is using Facebook, obviously, so we still have a ways to go in being able to use this as a teaching tool for staff. But as more and more people become familiar with the features of Facebook and how it works, it can provide some good examples of what we mean when we're using some of these "scary" terms.


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Hey Michele,

Thanks for the nod. Glad you liked the article :)


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