The wave of internet technology has brought with it revolution in the communication industry. Over time, there has been emergence of newer tools that allow application and adoption of technology and internet tools that allow social networking and online collaboration with much ease and convenience. Web 2.0 technology is one of such applications that have greatly changed the process of human communication and networking. Application of Web 2.0 over the internet has made this concept to become one of the current information tools that act as a major facilitator of existing and potential social networks. In regard to this, there are certain technological underpinnings of the Internet and Web 2.0 that make it such popular and effective.
Web 2.0 is ever on evolution and has developed due to collection of various innovations in the industry. The ability of web 2.0 technology to follow preferential attachment rule is a major reason for its popularity and application. This is because; web 2.0 has grown over time due to collection of various ideas and practices that are spearheaded by individuals and companies such as Google. As such the Web2.0 network according to Hwang, Altmann and Kim (2009) is a “representation of collective intelligence of the developers [that has been realized through] development and pooling of intelligence to attain common goals or resolve common problem”. Evidently, evolution of Web2.0 that can be traced to combination of various services that are offered by different developers and this technology growth follows a trend. This trend based evolution and collection of intelligences serve as technological underpinnings of the Internet and Web 2.0. the ability of the developers to respond to the user’s demand has led to popularity of Web 2.0 with the current trend now focusing on need for stable operations of the Web 2.0 services providers, so that the Mashups do not fail if any of the servers of the providers fail (Hwang, Altmann & Kim , 2009) ). There is need to match the cost of operation of web 2.0 and homogeneity of a network.
Web 2.0 allows for effective knowledge management. The ability to fuse Web 2.0 with knowledge management systems serves as major technological underpinnings of the Internet and Web 2.0. For example, during the earthquake that destroyed many homes, buildings, schools and roads in Haiti in 2010, major organizations, the US and United Nations used web 2.0 tools such as social media and wikis and Ushahidi to mobilize relief emergencies, drugs, volunteers and coordinate their distribution in Haiti. According to Yates and Paquette (2012), “managing this response effort was a complex undertaking that relied extensively on knowledge management systems [where] social media eliminated linear, manually intensive knowledge sharing processes typical of past response efforts and permitted localized ‘crowdsourcing’ of ideas from numerous experts simultaneously”. Based on this argument, it is evident any knowledge based management segment should be very flexible so that any unexpected situations are effectively handled. Ability of web 2.0 technologies to offer such flexibilities makes it one of the most robust tools to be deployed in knowledge management in a disaster response situation such as Haiti.
Social media is one of the major technologies that underpin Web 2.0. Through social media such as Face Book and Twitter and YouTube, the users are able to stay connected, communicate and share information in real time. That is, unlike the traditional internet, social media allows for online conversations, content management, online collaborative research and video sharing. Through Face Book and Twitter, it is possible to sustained conversations threads about a topic. This led to maintenance of contacts with friends throughout the world. Cloud computing technology has also been enabled through Web 2.0. Through this technology, the users are able to share and access their information and data with much ease and flexibility and also to have data backups. For example, through Google Docs, one is able to manage his or her files, documents and spreadsheets online and be able to edit them online.
Web 2.0 is a web based technology in which networks are used in sharing of either audio or video information. Web 2.0 today is one of the latest tools in internet communication processes whose technology is applied in the used in social media. Due to its popularity and effectiveness, Web 2.0 has been adopted by other industries as it enhances reach, online dialogues and two way engagements. Web 2.0 has been effectively used in the implementation of public relations activities and product marketing so as to enhance and sustain service/products awareness. This is the process of online and social media marketing. Under this process, many marketers today reach their customers through such means as Facebook pages or groups, Flickrs, twitter handles, YouTube accounts as well as wikis, among others. Through these social media avenues that are Web 2.0 based, the companies are able to effectively make their products popular. Though this is the aim of any marketing, web 2.0 has enhanced possibility to market the products and services to the potential and current customers. This is because of the global reach of the social media as well as ability to get reviews and critiques from the public. These tools are effectively by marketers to ensure increase in product awareness, company sales, as well as the levels of customers’ satisfaction (Erickson, 2011). As technological underpinnings of the Internet and Web 2.0, social media marketing has enabled the marketers use the feedbacks to rebrand and deliver products that meet the customers’ needs, tastes and demands. In the travel industry for instance, there is widespread creation of Facebook pages where companies post their flight schedule information as well as the travel timetable. They also use the technology to advertise the new flight packages so that the fans can like and share /retweet the posts.
Web 2.0 has greatly enhanced the process of education and course content creation. According to Netzley, Rath, and Akanksha (2012), the web 2.0 can be used to offer a platform for the tutors to crowd source and develop course content. In the process the students tend to learn how to effectively employ various online communication tools in their respective for work places. This is because the web 2.0 can enable the educators to embrace the technological optimisms that allow open communication processes, information and data sharing, as well as ability to carry out content co-creation. Specifically, through the Web 2.0, the students are able to create microblog networks through which they can share information and study outcomes such as Wikis. The students need to be introduced to the process of writing for the web, collaborative online learning and effective and culturally sensitive online writing. This would lead to more localized teaching approaches and collaborative course content generation and effective self-appraisal by the students.
In conclusion, it is evident that Web 2.0 offers a flexible means for reaching many people in real-time, sharing data and information and promoting online collaboration and engagements. The tools that this technology adopts are very flexible, ever evolving and are developed through collaborative intelligences. To be effective however, the technologies that underpin the web 2.0 should be very flexible to allow modifications, be secure and stable and optimal. The process should also allow for transparency as well as tenets of open communication, but respect privacy of users. It is also vital that they be user friendly but be sensitive to the fact that human and cultural diversity exist and play vital roles in human and social networking processes.
Erickson, L.B. (Jan/Feb 2011). ‘Web 2.0 and Social Networking for the Enterprise.’ [Review of
The book Web 2.0 and Social Networking for the Enterprise, by J. Bernal]. Research Technology Management. Arlington: 54(1), 67-68.
Hwang, J., Altmann, J., & Kim, K. (2009). ‘The structural evolution of the Web 2.0 service
Network’. Online Information Review, 33(6), 1040.
Netzley, M. A. & Rath, Akanksha (2012). ‘Social Networks and the Desire to Save Face: A Case
From Singapore’. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(1), 96-107.
Yates, D, & Paquette, S. (2010). ‘Emergency Knowledge Management and Social Media
Technologies: A Case Study of the 2010 Haitian Earthquake’. Retrieved from https://asist.org/asist2010/proceedings/proceedings/ASIST_AM10/submissions/243_Final_Submission.pdf.
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