I was surprised after looking at this list how many of these tools I have already used: Technorati, Bloglines, Craigslist, Writely, ThinkFree Office, HipCal, Flickr, FaceBook, MySpace, Deliscious, Rollyo, YouTube, PBWiki, JotSpot.
Wow! I did not even realize some of these were “Web 2.0.” Of course Web 2.0 is just a name. It seems like more and more of what has become popular on the Internet are ways to connect to people. After years and years of the Internet and computers having the nerd or geek stigma, it is becoming cool to be online and to use computers. When I started college more than a decade ago I never heard the phrases “Facebook me” or “Google it” and I typed all my papers on a typewriter. Now these phrases are a part of the every day language and I can email assignments to my professors. Not only do I not have to print papers out on paper, but for some classes I don’t even have to have a book–the materials are all available online.
Back to my point. For years computers and video games were to blame for alienating people. Now these tools are providing channels for people to connect in ways that we never imagined. Through this blog I have “met” a librarian in Australia. Because of the Internet I am able to complete a degree from a university that I have never seen or been to. I am taking a class from a professor who lives in another state. There are students living as far away as Saudi Arabia. My teaching partner for another online class lives in a different time zone. I can use Skype and call anyone in my family at any time of day…for free. The world seems smaller, but the opportunities seem endless!