This is a topic that fascinates me – since the very first time I sent that e-mail I was amazed by the power of the Internet and I really enjoy exploring web 2.0 tools.

I fully believe that there are major problems with today’s educational system – I don’t think we learn the right things at school – (to see this we only need to look at today’s world and all the problems we encounter and cause on a daily basis) – I always beleived that knowledge and skills must be freely shared from person to person ( it used to be the case in the old days – it’s actually nothing new ) and that is what I try to do on a daily basis in the OpenCafe.

I don’t have any qualifications when it comes to IT – I learn everything I know from manuals, mailing lists, websites that I find on the NET – similarly to all others in the open source world – the knowledge I have picked up so far enables me to run an Internet cafe, create websites, write books, run workshops – in other words all the skills I learn (for free) I use daily in my work – and I see a lot of potential in the new tools I see appear on the web almost daily to help me learn in an even more efficient way and also help me apply my new knowledge using web 2.0 tools.

Steve’s blog, How To Split An Atom explores web 2.0 concepts – it’s a new world – and his blog will help you get to survive in it.

How to Split an Atom

Steven on web 2.0

Peopleized by: Szavanna – Friday, 06 July 2007

sbspalding All about the meaning behind web 2.0 and exploring the concept of a \”2.0 culture\” in which we translate web 2.0 concepts into offline tools for those without Internet and computer access.

Szavanna: Thanks for agreeing to answer these questions and many greetings from the OpenCafe. Please introduce yourself in a few words and tell about the reasons for choosing to write about web 2.0 related topics.

sbspalding: My name is Steve Spalding, I am an Engineer, blogger (How To Split An Atom), entrepreneur and web enthusiast. I choose to write about Web 2.0 because I believe the idea of the “social web” and the communities that have been created around this idea is fertile ground for all the next, big disruptive forces in technology.

Szavanna: You say your blog is about “Web 2.0 culture, and how to survive in it” – it does sound like there are some challenges to overcome in this new online world – what are some of these?

sbspalding: The short list are these: information overload, loss of identity, management of reputation, and privacy to name a few.

For every new innovation there are associated challenges. Web 2.0 is no different.

Szavanna: Web 1.0, web 2.0, web 3.0 – how would you say the web evolved over time and where is it heading? (If you can describe in a few sentences.)

sbspalding: Absolutely.

Web 1.0 was the static web, in this web we were fed information and we consumed it.

Web 2.0 is the community web. Now, information is all a part of a conversation. We have social networks, blogs and wikis that allow is to interact with knowledge.

Web 3.0 will be the semantic web. When we have orders of magnitude more knowledge than any one person could ever hope to deal with, we’ll need ways to parse it down into manageable chunks. Web 3.0 will answer these questions. Once a week or so I blog about this over at How To Split An Atom.

Szavanna: What role widgets play in today’s Internet – what are some of the best uses for widgets?

sbspalding: Widgets help simplify and codify the web. They allow is to easily import information from various “islands” in our web empires. As we continue to participate in larger and larger numbers of web services, widgets will be the technology that enables to pull all of the information we produce back into a central location.

Szavanna: There seems to be a big gap between social networking online and offline – do the two worlds ever meet?

sbspalding: More and more. People are selling real, physical property on Facebook and Craig’s List. In Second Life, real money transactions occur daily, on business cards many people are starting to include their personal websites and blogs.

Our digital lives and our “real” lives are becoming more intertwined on an almost daily basis.

Szavanna: I have always been interested in finding ways of “translating” web 2.0 concepts to just “2.0 culture” what would be possible ways of broadening this new trend and include everyone in it – be it Internet user or someone without computer and Internet access?

sbspalding: 2.0 culture. That’s an interesting concept, one that I agree with. The idea is simple, “2.0” is conversational knowledge sharing.

I know something, whether it is a broad topic or a narrow niche and I make my knowledge easily available to those around me. Basically, “2.0” thinking is evangelizing for the long tail.

Instead of thinking of knowledge in terms of broad subject we think more in terms of narrow niches, and we focus our energy on spreading that knowledge as efficiently as possible.

Szavanna: OpenCafe’s approach – kind of a web 2.0 for everyone – an open source Internet cafe that offers and supports the creation and sharing of open source software/open content support, free skill exchange, international audience both offline and online – we are a kind of “offline widget” 🙂 – taking online content making it available in an offline non-profit setup ( via our Freedom Toaster and other tools ) with a strong educational focus – any thoughts/suggestions for our project – can such a project become a global trend and contribute to new ways of teaching, learning and interacting?

sbspalding: I think it’s a fantastic idea mate, one I would be more than happy to explore on my blog if you are willing to sit down for an interview yourself? Thanks for the opportunity.

sbspalding’s Page   Authors Page: Szavanna

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Steve thanks for the interview – so much to learn – so I will be exploring your blog further – in order to gather questions for future interviews on this topic.