Assessment Blog!

Useful terms to have clear, because you’ll come across them a lot.

Posted on: June 2, 2011

At least one of the most interesting things about this subject was actually learning what nice catchwords like ‘web 2.0’ and ‘interactive’ and ‘the long tail’ is. Just to clarify

web 2.0 – newer generation of internet web pages which focus on user-generated content and ‘interactive’ activities. Somehow, the meaning of ‘Web 2.0’ has been a little lost, and we have more of a vague sense of ‘social networking and stuff… y’know. Like, erm, Facebook and shit?’ rather than a clear definition. Since it is now mainly used as a buzzword, that is not actually so wrong. Web 2.0 is the latest interactive fad. So I include a nice diagram of general web 2.0 attitudes. Because I think in pictures.

What I get from this is that web 2.0 is about harnessing the users collective work and directing it towards a particular area per site. It seems a good business model to me, as one doesn’t have to constantly work to provide new entertainment – the users will do that themselves. Sites instead simply provides a designated area with designated rules to work within, so that people can find the type ofuser-generated content reasonably easily. eg. Youtube is videos. Facebook is social connection. Flickr is photos. 4Chan is…. scary.

The Long Tail – After the few core hugely visited sites, we have a loooong tail of less visited sites. These sites can be very successul, but only a very few sit in the head of the long tail. According to this recent record of the top 1000 visited sites (as compiled by google) ,the top 10 websites attracted 42% of unique visitors. However, to sit in the top 100, you have to have at least 22 million

The Top 1000 sites, according to http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/jul/06/graph-top-1000-websites-long-tail-internet, really does prove the long tail is a thing.

It’s nice to have proof, don’t you think?

The stuff at the ‘head’ tend to be very generic, all-in websites. Facebook, Wikipedia, youtube, etc. The further into the tail we get, the more audience-specific the website is likely to be. I would list some of those, but I’ve not heard of many/any. So you can check it out yourself. This applies to pretty much every region of the internet.
Theories that the long tail would not apply on the internet as there is no limited shelf space forcing one product to replace another have proved to be false so far. People do have limited attention, limited time and limited amounts of information they can absorb.

Interactivity -As far as jargon is concerned – ‘interactivity‘ is allowing the user to generate content, comment on content, click around links, play and redesign, etc. They are made very aware of the fact they are somehow influencing the content and culture of the site, if just a little. Or at the very least, follow links and so on to make you more aware of ‘delving’ into the site, and having a relationship with it.

I actually really enjoyed the reading that we had on this by Gane and Beer. They tell us that interactivity is always present – to read a book, one must imagine characters, infer scenes, etc. To view a painting or picture, one infers story, tries to imagine outside the frame, etc. To watch a movie, one must follow story, take visual and audio cues, etc. Some argue that things like books, photos, movies etc. are more interactive that ‘interactivity on the web, as the user must fill in more. They are just not made as aware of it, as is purposefully done in internet and computer media. That’s one argument.
I think it’s interesting.

I have no picture for this. So here’s another picture of the long tail, except with a dinosaur!!! 😀

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/jul/06/graph-top-1000-websites-long-tail-internet

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This work by Stephanie Firth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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