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The Emergence of Web 2.0

Question:

Discuss about the Web Communication for Teaching Literature and Language.

Web 2.0 is a term which is used to cover the dynamic changes in internet system. The term mainly describes how web communication and collaboration system has changed. Web based services that are classified as web 2.0 helps to produce content easily and in huge volume compared to web 1.0 where content were designed for low bandwidth dial up connections. Web 2.0 has given people opportunity to publish contents efficiently. Web 2.0 based applications like WIKIPEDIA has changed the way people communicate and collaborate. WIKIPEDIA was developed to allow the users to edit hypertext document from their browser easily and publish or edit web content. WIKIPEDIA has some unique features of mass collaboration and edit the article linked with a topic or word.  The previous contents based on web 1.0 were static in nature and also non-participatory. Probably the most important trait of WEB 2.0 based is the ability of the users to edit the hyper text. WIKI software has developed a free online encyclopedia.

WIKI software’s scope was discovered which enabled the users to create and edit entry in online encyclopedia which is termed as community editing. The concept of community editing has enabled people to share information and collaborate for various projects by sharing information on intranet based wiki. Educational institution can track progress of students’ progress of projects(Fuchs, C., Boersma, K., Albrechtslund, A. and Sandoval, M. eds. 2013). The principle reasons which lead to success and trustworthiness of WIKIPEDIA are its openness which, allowed people to collaborate which was in line with the aim of the founder’s vision to build an online portal where “every single human being can freely share in the sum of all human knowledge”( John 2013). The process of editing through WIKI text language was simple and minimal which the Wikipedia server translated into html language to display it on the web. The users can instantly see the edited content live on Wikipedia platform without any screening process in between(Chou et al. 2013).


The second reason which contributed to success of Wikipedia is the internal mediation system which was developed in the Wikipedia community (Halfaker et al. 2013). The prior trust issue of non validated data of Wikipedia was solved by encouraging the users to be registered and by that increasing “reputation” within the Wikipedia community. The “reputation system” allowed more participants to be registered and a sense of reward within the community for their contribution which was a major reason of success of the project (Staub and Hodel 2016). The benefits of Wikipedia are that it spreads the knowledge and new information quickly and unlike the static web based application the information is continuously updated by its huge base of participants including researchers, students, other professionals with specialised knowledge in a particular field. Wikipedia has also overcome the language barrier as contributors upload contains in various languages like English, Arabic, Spanish and so on. Furthermore the people around the globe who need information can easily get information in his language which made Wikipedia an international phenomenon (Roth, Davis and Carver 2013.). The ambition of Wikipedia is “to create and distribute knowledge to every person in their own language”. People of the Wikipedia community share their ideas which help the researchers and students to write the research articles or assignments. Many academicians and professors believe that Wikipedia is not a trusted source as any user can make alteration in the content and it will be uploaded on the platform without any type of verification of data. Though many registered community members and anonymous users make changes to many vandalized pages but still there is no proper method of correction of wrong information put on the platform (Davidson, 2015). The idea behind the platform Wikipedia was to allow people to use a common place to simultaneously work on hyperlinked pages. Actually Wikipedia is a database driven pages that can be edited and published by the users. Private wiki is though exclusively for the registered users and can not be edited by anyone in world wide web. Wikipedia gives important insights about the idea of any topic which people need to know(Thornton 2013). It gives us a generalized approach about a topic.

Features of Web 2.0-based Applications

Intuitive linking is another factor which has changed the way people communicate and the concept of intuitive linking is embedded in the wiki software in most cases. Derived from the idea of “selection by association” the pages on Wikipedia consist of several HTML links of many other associated page. The process of direct association is implemented in a way that a new page is published and then linked it with the main page. Intuitive linking has helped people to get related information about any term or any theory related to the topic he needs and understand it better. To make and publish a new page on Wikipedia, the user needs to highlight a word whilst in editing mode and creates a link for that word in foreground. In the background the wiki software creates a new page with this title. Any page can then be edited by any wiki users just by using this feature which makes Wikipedia unique in its own way.


Wikipedia has changed the user behaviour from passive viewer to active contributors. The paradigm shift in way people communicate and collaborate due to the change in user behaviour has impacted hugely. Wikipedia has become a trusted source of collaborative knowledge depending on the trust of the community (Allen 2013). Wikipedia has though declared the platform not suitable for academic research but it has increased its popularity among students and sometimes acts as primary source of knowledge. The strong protocol of using html has led the users to easily use Wiki and some HTML is permitted in wiki formatting but it changes from wiki to wiki. Most importantly knowledge of html is not required to edit the Wikipedia page. Formats of the markup language though vary but they are generally known a wikitext. Wikitext is designed as text editor to ensure ease of access for the users.

The philosophy maintained by Wikipedia of its openness though leads to vandalized pages i.e deliberately putting wrong information, spreading hoax news may raise security concerns of the platform but wiki has taken a soft security approach(MADUEWESI 2013). Some wikis allow the unregistered users to edit content identified by their ip address while some wikis allow only registered users to edit the data.

Wikipedia has not only been an online encyclopedia but also a source of news. It has not only merely been a database driven pages containing articles but every day it publishes various up to date news. News is updated almost immediately after any incident (Bilansky 2016). Wiki by its nature has been touted as a collaboration tool through which people can communicate better and it has been certainly a major source of news now. The news on Wikipedia is updated in short time period and it spreads very quickly enhancing people to get updated about the incident. Like many other WEB 2.0 application Wikipedia has hugely impacted in the area of mass communication by being platform of news sharing and discussion (John 2013). Wikipedia has been a source of peer learning and a method of computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL). Wikis are considered as very effective in the field of learning and teaching (Martins, López-Pellicer and Ahlers 2015). The WIKIPEDIA is widely used in projects where different persons and departments need to collaborate and update the progress status simultaneously. The Wikipedia encourages the users to play an active role in contributing to build a collaborative knowledge source. Platforms like Wikieducator (Schlicht 2013.)which, has been built on the same platform of Wikipedia is a collaborative project to develop learning materials for the students and researchers. It has paved ways for the students to easily access and use the materials for various projects and assignments. Like many other ICT tool Wikipedia has also indulged students in working on a project collaboratively and ensured better communication (Aheto, Ng’ambi and Cronjé 2017). Wikipedia has been increasing its trustworthiness with its dynamic content and huge amount of contributors. It is though sometimes difficult to track what changes were made to any page by any user(McCallum 2014). In order to overcome this many wikis has implemented logging changes feature which informs the viewer about the changes made and communicate better.

Wikipedia: A Leading Contributor of Collaborative Knowledge

Wikipedia has given opportunity of collaboration among people by allowing them to stay in contact and updated about the progress in project and help each other by sharing knowledge through Wikipedia platform(Brailas, Koskinas, Dafermos and Alexias 2015). The platform has effectively contributed in doing so. The quality of content though totally depends on the knowledge of the creator but the Wikipedia community has increasing fame in terms of quality of content and vandalism free pages(Xiao, and Askin 2014). The researchers all over the world can access the huge amount of information in various languages and can make alteration using simplified text like wikitext language.

Conclusion

In conclusion it can be stated that Wikipedia has emerged as a new online encyclopedia depending on collaborative knowledge. Social interaction on internet is an old phenomenon and with the development of WEB 2.0 based applications such as twitter, Wikipedia, youtube it has significantly increased. The platform though is a source of contents for the users but has been reliable. Also it spreads news and shares information quickly. WEB 2.0 based web application has enabled the users to more effectively communicate and collaborate for work and also it has shaped the future of education and learning. The change in the method people collaborate and communicate was endorsed to the shift in the way knowledge can be viewed. Wikipedia has been a major break through after the WEB 2.0 based blogging system which had limited amount of data and static in nature because it was only could be edited by the owner of the blog unlike Wikipedia which is open to any member on World Wide Web. 

Reference 

Aheto, S.P.K., Ng’ambi, D. and Cronjé, J.C., 2017. An open source self-assessment platform as technological tool for distance and open education learners. Progressio, 39(1), pp.89-108.

Allen, M., 2013. What was Web 2.0? Versions as the dominant mode of internet history. New Media & Society, 15(2), pp.260-275.

Bilansky, A., 2016. Using Wikipedia to teach audience, genre, and collaboration. Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture, 16(2), pp.347-355.

Brailas, A., Koskinas, K., Dafermos, M. and Alexias, G., 2015. Wikipedia in education: Acculturation and learning in virtual communities. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 7, pp.59-70.

Chou, W.Y.S., Prestin, A., Lyons, C. and Wen, K.Y., 2013. Web 2.0 for health promotion: reviewing the current evidence. American journal of public health, 103(1), pp.e9-e18.

Davidson, R., 2015. Wiki Use That Increases Communication and Collaboration Motivation: A Reflection Several Semesters Later. Journal of Learning Design, 8(3), pp.92-105.

Fuchs, C., Boersma, K., Albrechtslund, A. and Sandoval, M. eds., 2013. Internet and surveillance: The challenges of Web 2.0 and social media (Vol. 16). Routledge.

Halfaker, A., Geiger, R.S., Morgan, J.T. and Riedl, J., 2013. The rise and decline of an open collaboration system: How Wikipedia’s reaction to popularity is causing its decline. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(5), pp.664-688.

John, N.A., 2013. Sharing and Web 2.0: The emergence of a keyword. new media & society, 15(2), pp.167-182.

MADUEWESI, E., 2013. Human Resources and Technology: Education in the Days of Google, Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter. Academic Discourse: An International Journal, 5(1), pp.165-175.

Martins, B., López-Pellicer, F.J. and Ahlers, D., 2015, November. Expanding the utility of geospatial knowledge bases by linking concepts to WikiText and to polygonal boundaries. In Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Geographic Information Retrieval (p. 1). ACM.

McCallum, T., 2014. Open Education: Improving student retention while dealing with a truly diverse audience.

Roth, A., Davis, R. and Carver, B., 2013. Assigning Wikipedia editing: Triangulation toward understanding university student engagement. First Monday, 18(6).

Schlicht, P., 2013. Turning the digital divide into digital dividends through free content and open networks: WikiEducator Learning4Content (L4C) initiative. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17(2), pp.87-100.

Staub, T. and Hodel, T., 2016. Wikipedia vs. Academia: An Investigation into the Role of the Internet in Education, with a Special Focus on Wikipedia. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 4(2), pp.349-354.

Thornton, J., 2013. The 4E Wiki Writing Model: Redefining collaboration for technological relevance. Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue, 15(1/2), p.A49.

Xiao, L. and Askin, N., 2014. Academic opinions of Wikipedia and Open Access publishing. Online Information Review, 38(3), pp.332-347.

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