Web 2.0, Web 3.0…

The term "Web 2.0" gets bandied around a lot these days. It refers to things like blogs and wikis… For a fuller definition, this article on oreillynet.com explains What is web 2.0?

But Web 2.0 isn't in fact so cool any longer, as we now have Web 3.0 as well. PC Mag explains What is web 3.0?

Web 3.0 would include things like Second Life (a virtual world). On the Second Life Educators List, Gary Hayes had a neat explanation of it:

To me, evolution of the web order can be defined in single sentences:

1.0 the pushed, one way only web
2.0 the two-way shared web
3.0 the real time collaborative web (3D, isometric or just 2D)

3D is probably actually a better term for it. 3D might well be what the web becomes; 3.0 looks like a clever-clever way of saying "I'm even more up-to-the-minute than all those people (still) talking about Web 2.0".

Even when we get to Web 4.0, however, or Web 14.0 for that matter, don't forget that to you as the teacher what's important is not the technology, but the learning.

Second Life: where to find out more

Second Life: waiting for something to actually happen… Meanwhile, places you could find out more:

In order to keep up with the speed of developments in SL, a news aggregator supplying you with RSS feeds is useful: don't search, have things come to you, as I always say. Those of the resources below with an RSS feed are marked [RSS].

In alphabetical order:

More Second Life eductation links via del.icio.us.

Er… Actually, I'd rather have a book
There is also an official SL guide, available from Amazon.

Second Life: the hype

Unless you go to an event of some kind, much of Second Life in fact looks like this… What on earth is all the hype about?

In case you missed it all, here is some of the hype about Second Life (SL):

This BusinessWeek article (1 May 2006) thinks "virtual worlds may end up playing an even more sweeping role — as far more intuitive portals into the vast resources of the entire Internet than today's World Wide Web".

It also repeats the oft-heard assertion that residents of SL (the likes of you and me) "can build anything they can imagine". The hype doesn't point out what that will cost you, or that that's only possible if you have 3D design skills.

This article (10 Nov 2006) by Fortune senior editor David Kirkpatrick says "No, Second Life is not overhyped", in case you thought it was, and then proceeds to grossly overhype it as "the future of the Net".

People are getting excited about virtual worlds, Second Life in particular. The Times reports (19 April 2007) that real world (aka RL) companies are recruiting (real) people for (real) jobs via Second Life.

But my own Bull(SL)it prize (a term I just made up) is for this comment on futuretag.net:

In other words, 3D is a much better user interface. This is not surprising: while we have been working with documents for only a few hundreds of years, we have evolved fast responses to the real 3D universe, like running from predators and hunting prey, for hundreds of thousands of years. Now that technology permits doing so, 3D VR will become the preferred online interface for users with powerful PCs and enough bandwidth. Nothing exceptional though: your home PC and DSL are probably more than good enough to run Second Life.

Chances are your home PC is not good enough [test that], for starters. The hype is one of the reasons why I dislike Second Life.

To keep up with the hype, stay tuned to Millionsofus.com (and its RSS feed).

But whether you like them or not, virtual worlds are here to stay