Scientists and Web 2.0
December 6th, 2005

Declan Butler writing in Nature says “when Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989,he saw it as a collaborative workspace for his fellow scientists at CERN,the European particle-physics lab near Geneva,and beyond.His creation went on to surpass his prediction that “the usefulness of the scheme would in turn encourage its increased use”.But in the rush to develop the web as a flexible way to find information,the original concept of users interacting in real time was largely forgotten.Fifteen years later, the web seems to be returning to its roots.For most users,the web in its first decade was like a big online library,where they mainly searched for information.Today it is undergoing a subtle but profound shift,dubbed Web 2.0,to become more of a social web,not unlike Berners-Lee’s original vision.Yet scientists are largely being left behind in this second revolution,as they are proving slow to adopt many of the latest technologies that could help them communicate online more rapidly and collaboratively than they do now”.

Science in the web age:Joint efforts

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just a remark on the term “social”: i think this is an all too common abbreviation. it works when we want to talk about motivation of “human agents”, from the worm eye#s view. From a semantic “Matrix” perspective it is more like a huge self-organizing and dynamic “skywriting” system. like the cloud of language/knowledge forming “over/between the heads” of the culture’s participants. that cannot be simply explained by the social metaphor, that is: “people communicating with each other”, or Weinberger’s “conversations” (though he sometimes uses the concept i a wuite postmodern way). They immerse themselves in a cloud, so to speak. They plug themselves in a specific cultural Matrix. The fascinating thing about Web 2.0 and its coming shift to mobile/ubiquitous is that this will (and already does) create whole new cultural patterns that have to be understood in their own right.

2 - Liam

Berners-Lee called it “intercreativity”. Our perspective is that, for both cultural and technical reasons, a fully-interactive web-model workspace requires a web server that’s “always-on-you”; on a laptop, wi-fi handheld, or flash drive. We’re building a web 2.0 application server and apps for those devices. And we’ve started a blog about the intersection of web 2.0 and mobile tech (see link).

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