Monday, January 01, 2007

Web 2.0, say what?

Transfusion medicine has its own language, including acronyms such as AIHA, DAT, HDN, T&S, and TRALI. To the outsider, such language is gobbledegook and may sometimes be resented as being non-inclusive.

I was reminded of this when reading
How Web. 2.0 is changing medicine (BMJ 2006 Dec 23;333:1283-4) by Dean Giustini, a medical librarian from UBC, creator of the UBC Academic Search - Google Scholar Blog

My guess is that many readers will not know what
Web 2.0 is or even care or, worse, will think it another example of jargon designed to make people feel outside the loop, or perhaps an example of the latest Internet buzzword.

Most techno-geeks are rhapsodic about Web 2.0:

So what is Web 2.0?

Many answers exist, but the one I like best is Dimov's:

  • Web 1.0 users follow links to websites
  • Web 2.0 users comment, edit, and create content

Using this framework, Web 2.0 is anything web-based that is interactive and participatory. For example:

Blogs like On TraQ are part of Web 2.0. You, the reader, can create content here by posting a comment (anonymously or attributed) to anything I've written.

Wikipedia is Web 2.0, with user-created entries such as

You too can be a Wikipedia author by contributing to Wikipedia. Creating an entry requires only a small learning curve - it's pretty easy.

Google Docs and Spreadsheets (was Writely) is another Web 2.0 example.

As someone attempting to write a book (attempting is the operative word!), I find Goggle Docs to be a fun and easy way to get feedback and collaboration from friends kind enough to help.

British Medical Journal has embraced Web 2.0 "big time":

YouTube (a free video sharing website) epitomizes Web 2.0. Interestngly, YouTube videos can be embedded in other sites, e.g.,

Flickr (a free photo-sharing service) offers similar participatory opportunities. Here's a Web 2.0 example administered by Dr. Ed Uthman, a pathologist in Houston, Texas:

No doubt Web 2.0, whatever it is, will continue to evolve. I'm exploring ways to make it more useful to transfusion medicine professionals. If you have ideas or feedback, please click on the "comments" link below. Many thanks.

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