When reading Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On, this sentence stood out to me.
“Chief among our insights was that “the network as platform” means far more than just offering old applications via the network (“software as a service”); it means building applications that literally get better the more people use them, harnessing network effects not only to acquire users, but also to learn from them and build on their contributions” (O’Reilly and Battelle).
I think that through this Web 2.0 network as platform idea, the content on the internet is much better for everyone. Rather than companies placing information on the internet in a Web 1.0 fashion (which reminds me of the hyperdermic needle model), users receive, critique, contribute, and reflect on content. In return, other users benefit and those placing the information on the web benefit.
I find that allowing others to have input ensures that many perspectives on a topic are being given. When reading online newspaper articles, I find it very beneficial to read the comments that other readers post about the article. I am able to reflect on the subject in the article but also I am given various perspectives on the issue at hand, exposing me to ideas that I otherwise may not have even considered.
On the other hand, I think that companies can benefit a great deal from this two-way form of communication. In Lesson 2, Prof. Neal raises the issue of companies and social media and what happens if a company receives negative feedback and comments from their customers. As much as no company wants negative ideas to be circulated (especially on the web, where information flows freely and fast!), they benefit a great deal from this. The Web 2.0 allows companies to respond promptly to complaints and also gives them insight into what their consumers/customers/clients are looking for. I think that having information about the public and receivng feedback from them so easily can help companies with their business success and also helps customers receive the service that they are looking for.
The Web 2.0 helps the public to be viewed as active and with agency rather than passive receivers of information, something that is increasingly important in such a media dominated world.