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What is Web 2.0?

I'm not exactly what you'd call a technogeek, but have really become interested in this whole inter-web fad that's going on. Perhaps you've made use of computers and that world wide web thing, no? (yes, there's irony in that.)

Since we've been married, Shannon and I have opted not to have cable television. It's not necessarily a protest of 'trashy content', although that's probably healthy for me to avoid. It may be that we're cheap and don't want to pay for it. It may be that we were just lazy in having it connected before, and after a while figured "why start now?". And the truth is that I probably wouldn't get half the stuff done that I do now if I had television on a regular basis. Whatever the reason, the point is no cable for us.

Instead, we do have the internet, and that facilitates much of our entertainment and information. Much of my news content, music, video watching, etc. is done via our computer.

So a couple of days ago (I honestly don't remember where I got it from) I came across this video from FastCompany about Web 2.0. Web 2.0 is a term I've heard tossed around a bit for a while. Seems a little like "insider" language and the conversation about it is not a big deal to me (however, the concepts / ideology / principles behind the Web 2.0 movement have HUGE implications).

Anyhow, here's what I wanted to say...

I watched this documentary (yes, it's a bit long, but about like watching a half-hour tv show) and listened to what these "experts" had to say about Web 2.0. I don't know what AJAX is, how complicated FLASH or JAVA is, or lots of the technical stuff that talked about, but I was struck by a couple things.

First, the way these business leaders understood the need to listen to "outsiders" with so much of Web 2.0 platforms being user centered and driven (think YouTube, Ebay, blogging). The closing discussion on web browsers was revealing and insightful to this point. I'll talk a little about this in the upcoming series on The 7 Practices of Effective Ministry. I'm sure this stood out to me because I've already been thinking about it lately.

Another thing that I found striking is that one of the interviewees mentioned four components of successful web based companies: search, content, tools/apps, and community. I see these same concepts being integral to the church in our culture and society. Each of these could be posts all to them selves, but I'll briefly state it here and let you take these ideas further for yourself. "Search" relating to the accessability of the church, how easy is it for an 'outsider' to get 'in' and find what you're looking for. "Content" being the message of the gospel that must be shared in ways that are compelling, relevant, and true. "Tools and applications" representing helpful ways of sharing with people what it means to be the church in this world, inviting and empowering people to join God in His redemptive work. And "community" being just that; providing an arena wherein people are known and cared for and where they can know and care for others. We all desire a certian amount of connectivity because that's the way we were made (in the image of a communal, triune, relational God).

So, just some food for thought on a Thursday...

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