I read with interest James Fallows’s piece on the new wave of Web-based applications sometimes called Web 2.0 (“Homo Conexus,” July/August 2006). In using these new programs, he sometimes found that while a new online service was impressive, he was just too old to enjoy it. Unfortunately, I often feel quite the same way. I enjoy reading about exciting technological innovations, but–nose pressed to glass–cannot really participate.
I also liked Fallows’s observation that trust, in general, is important to Web 2.0, but would like to add that Web 2.0 demands a specific kind of trust between a given application’s makers and users. Desktop software, such as Microsoft Word and the Thunderbird e-mail client, is the same day-to-day. Not so with Web 2.0. One can log on to Gmail or Yahoo Mail and find that the interface has radically changed and that the arrangement and filtering of one’s e-mail has been altered.
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