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Creative Commons as a Principle of Web 2.0

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After reading What is Web 2.0, Web 2.0 Storytelling, and Seven Things You Should Know About Creative Commons, I wanted to blog about how I see Web 2.0 from my own personal experience.  For me, the key to Web 2.0 is the social aspect.  Web 2.0 is about collective thoughts and multiple hands (or mice) playing a role.  “If readers closely examine a Web 2.0 project, they will find that it is often touched by multiple people, whether in the content creation or via associated comments or discussion areas.  If they participate actively, by contributing content, we have what many call social media” (Bryan Alexander and Alan Levine).

For example, many of the websites I use daily are products of the Web 2.0 social media era.  Wikipedia allows for users to edit and add the content.  Facebook is simply user profiles being pulled into a feed.  Online journalism has extensive comment sections.  Even this blog is a product of the links I add to others work and the comment sections which I and others react to.  Web 2.0 is about these connections, which ensure that very little is left in the hands of one person.  This type of social structure aims to mimic real life.  Rarely do class assignments or jobs only involve one person’s ideas and work.  Instead, real life is about these same connections.  Thus, Web 2.0 aims to mimic real social life, but in a very different forum.

As well, creative commons falls nicely into this social world.  Tim O’Reilly points out that one of the key components to Web 2.0 is harnessing collective intelligence.  By harnessing this collective social intelligence, we need a way of distinguishing what is acceptable to be shared and distributed, and what is solely the work of one individual.  For example, if I write a paper for a class, and the teacher wants to use it as an example for next year’s class, they often ask for the right to use that paper again.  Similarly, we have social structures in place that allow us to know in real life when it is acceptable to share work.  For example, when I submit my work to an editor at my internship at the Free Lance-Star, I am within the social understanding that this is allowed to be published in the newspaper.  Collective commons is the online language of agreement to use or not use.  By searching on Flickr images under collective commons laws, I am honoring that agreement.

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