Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Web 2.0 in action: Informal Learning

Web 2.0, very interesting. Well I just viewed this very interesting blog that pointed me to some very interesting links. Now you can either view that person's blog or read my blog. Who cares as long as the information gets across.

So along with web 2.0 is the concept of informal learning: learning without a curriculum, learning that is achieved by a natural desire to get information to solve a problem, learning that is acquired unintentionally through conversation. In the blog David Delgado makes mention of Jay Cross who presents a very good video on informal learning.

Jay cross states that the most powerful technology or learning tool is human conversation....splendid!! :). So these social networking tools available are allowing humans to have conversation uninhibited by space and time. He further distinguished between training and learning. Training is something some one does for you, while learning is more internal and it's done by the self. So "People can train you, but they can't learn you."

This includes pooling expertise, even from people who are retirement does not mean solely sitting at home or having nice vacations but knowledge can still be passed on.

The concept of informal learning is very important, if a business wants to be a learning organization...which is another buzz word these days :). The point is learning is ongoing and in order to be successful organizations have to motivate their staff to collaborate and keep current with what's happening even without formal training structures in place.

View David's blog for a lot more information.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Web 2.0

What is Web 2.0 ?

It is amazing how technology has evolved. I think the relationship with technology and humans could be referred to as symbiotic, by this I mean they both shape each other. Technology changes the way we do things but also human behaviors/needs dictate the types of technologies that are developed.
in this article Richard MacManus and Joshua Porter explains 6 trends that characterize Web 2.0. They do a very good job.

1. Writing Semantic Mark up: Transition to XML

To illustrate this point they made mention of RSS (Real Simple Syndication) which is an XML format for syndicating content. Moving away from static HTML. I have personally enjoyed the benefits of RSS feeds. It certainly saves time when one can receive updates when new content is added to a site rather than having to search the site all the time.

2. Providing Web Services: Moving Away from place.

Under this section they discussed that XML makes content sharable and transformable between different systems. Therefore, content is not tied to the place (the website). They also made mention of programmatic interfaces, where anyone can build an interface to content on any domain if the developers provide a web service API (Application Program interface).

3. Remixing Content: About when and what, not who or why

Content is no longer contained in one place. They mention that Web 2.0 is about building event-driven experiences rather than sites. "Because content flows across the web in RSS feeds and can be remixed along the way, web designers must now think beyond sites and figure out how to brand content itself."

4. Emergent Navigation and Relevance: Users are in control

Web 2.0 allows content from several places to be aggregated based on the users needs. Therefore, built in navigation schemes on specific websites will soon be used less as users are able to read content without ever visiting a domain. Therefore, navigation paths will be determined by users' behaviors not by inbuilt design.

5. Adding Meta-data Overtime: Communities building social information

Sites are now available that allow the average person who is not competent in building a website to add meta-tags. Search engines search meta-tags so the results will bring up not only designers results but now everybody has a say. Content is more extensive. example allows people to store their bookmarks online and also create meta-tags.

6. Shift to programming: separation or structure and style

Seeing that Web 2.0 is all about networking they argue that words and semantics are more important than presentation and layout. Therefore designers will have to think about branding site content not just the site; think beyond presentation of the site to API's and syndication.

Well it sounds hard, but is either you get with the program or get left behind. So now it's not only about being tech-savvy it's about being text-savvy (I coined this, I mean one has to know how to creatively use words to bring users together.)

Good reading visiting the link and take peek.