Friday 21 May 2010

WEB101 - Learning Portfolio, Week 12 - The Future of InternetCommunication

This is the final week of lectures for Web 101 and I have to say that overall I've enjoyed this class very much, although the assignments were an exercise in hair-tearing hell that still make me sweat when I think about them.

This week the discussion was about what will happen in the future - Web 3.0, if you like, or the Semantic Web. Which in my mind can be best summed up as the "Internet fridge" concept. It looks really interesting and I'll be watching how it all unfolds with interest, but I guess I'm always a little sceptical of these predictive things because really, it's all guesswork. People can have great ideas and the best of intentions but then it all just goes pear-shaped and often there's no rhyme or reason to it. Who would have predicted that VHS video would have completely annihilated Betamax when in reality, Beta was much better technology? Who would have predicted that Windows would be so much more popular than Mac, when Mac is technologically superior? Most of these things we see about possibilities are just that - they promise a lot and they have the potential to be fantastic, but that doesn't necessarily mean they'll happen the way people are predicting, because people are unpredictable. Who would have predicted, out of all the social networking platforms that have arisen in the last 10 years, that it would be Facebook that would get 400 million users?
We also had a look at a video about Google Wave, which I'd seen before. At the time my first thought (apart from thinking what a dork Greg was) was - complicated and confusing. And I couldn't imagine a real-life context that I'd actually use it. It looks to be a whole bunch of stuff that already exists, rolled up into one Google-controlled entity. As if they don't have enough control over our data! I could be wrong but I can't really see it taking off because I think, at the end of the day, the reason that Facebook is so popular ISN'T because it has the most bells and whistles - it's because it's the simplest to use. :>

And so ends my first foray back into the world of study, albeit on a decidedly sceptical note. Thanks for reading! I've enrolled in MED104 for SP2 so if we need to blog, I'll be back then. :-)


PS: I keep thinking about the irony of studying "online communications and collaboration" - online. Without the Internet and the World Wide Web, I wouldn't be studying this course OR studying online. Learning online, with downloadable lectures and online discussion forums, has in itself proven to be an excellent example of online communication and collaborative learning! So by completing this unit online, I've effectively shown that I've learned about it... or something! :>


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