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Web 2.0

´╗┐Usage Of Web 2.0


Usage can be broken down along three separate lines: education, government, and the public. A lot of colleges and universities now use Web 2.0 to get their students involved in social networking. These have manifested in such forms as: Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter and Flickr. As the new generation is very adept at using the Internet and computers, they have truly taken to these websites and built up huge networks of friends and associates. When you consider that they can connect to people around the world, such networks could help in improving global understanding. Beyond that, the colleges are also using Web 2.0 to maintain contact with their students once they graduate, and with other alumni. Companies like iModules and Harris Connect have created online alumni communities to do just that. Still more institutions are creating virtual schools to allow people to take classes online when and where they want; among them is Moodle, which allows students to go online and ask questions on any subject.

In terms of government use, we can see how sites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and so on have allowed people to connect with their elected officials faster and easier than ever before. People no longer have to write letters and wait and hope for a reply from their representative. Using a simple video camera, a person can record a message, post it on one of these sites, and get a huge response. Not only to other people see the message - and take action, but many elected officials now monitor these sites to gauge how their constituents feel about certain issues. Thus, these sites have become the next step in the evolution of representative government, and are as powerful as any letter writing campaign or Gallup pole ever was! We have to wonder, how will this continue to grow and change over time. People already use instant messaging sites like Yahoo, MSN and Skype to have video chats. The main reason for representative government is the fact that we all can't go to Washington to participate in the process. If participation were as simple as going online and voting on an issue, would we all do it? Only time will tell.

Finally, there is the public process; specifically, Web 2.0 is used for public diplomacy. The government of Israel has set up a wide range of websites to allow for people to connect with each other and various government agencies. It is said that Israel is the first country to have its own blogs, both an official one and a political one! You can see it for yourself at Israelpolitik.org. In addition, the country has set up a YouTube channel, MySpace and Facebook pages, and a Twitter page. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs handles the political blog, it recently started a video blog, and some press conferences are even done on Twitter. The questions and answers are later posted on their political blog. Other nations have followed suit, and now more and more citizens can connect with various agencies both in their country and in others.