Weaving Conversations

TLT Knowledge Log

Illuminating… Read/write web…

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on September 8, 2006

I’ve heard the term read/write web referred to many times in the past few months and my reaction remains the same…”What the heck does that mean?” This techno terminology is not helping to make this process feel accessible and inclusive. Even myself, fondly referred to as girl geek and cybergal by my classmates, found it “off putting”. I found it — and terms like “web 2.0” — too tech and too male, quite frankly. I do not wish to be controversial here, but we really are talking about “soft” ideas — “intuitive”, “accessible”, “interactive” in terms of people… not hardware. I really dislike any image that refers to machines (hence my dislike of anything that tries to term the Web with human characteristics… because the Web itself is not human).

The web, as its USE has matured, does support interaction among people at an entirely new level. And it deserves a term that brings people to it… doesn’t push them away because they don’t understand the mumbo jumbo (another passion of mine is understanding what keeps people away from technological approaches that could help them… and how technology can address some issues of structural inequality… but that is for another time… my mind is just too busy right now!)

So… I’ve set about describing my experiences…  they have been:

  • conversational
  • interactive
  • international
  • engaging
  • motivating
  • illuminating
  • challenging

So, of those words I pick, at the moment, the word “illuminate”, in adjective form, to describe the “next generation” web.

Imagine, if you will, a spider web at dawn…the sun is rising, the droplets of dew are on the web, and the spider is spinning. You are the spider… the web is strong… and each droplet is an opportunity for that “ah-hah” moment in learning. You traverse… meander… yet keep such a beautiful pattern… of your own making… attached to the world around you. You can be alone or you can be together… but a light shines for you just because you make the effort.

So… my current metaphor is the illuminated web.

Amen…. for now!


3 Responses to “Illuminating… Read/write web…”

  1. The Illuminated Web…I like it.

    For me, Carol….I like to think that many of those meaningful words that begin ‘trans…’ reflect the characteristics of this developing Web, so:


    So…how would TransWeb do?

    Nah…I’ve just convinced myself it’s naff!

    Back to the drawing board……

  2. Carol said

    Sounds too much like TransFat to me… 🙂
    But I get your drift!

  3. Shari said

    For the masses to truly accept hi tech, it needs to have a hi touch value additive. You could say masses are already accepting hi tech and there is an element of truth in that; but I am thinking of those students or parents who are with us first and foremost for an education who still find the hi tech environment not user-friendly enough. This hi tech / hi touch concept has been around for quite some time, but I believe that there is still much merit in attempting to combine the two. What we need is a transfiguration or a transmutation — to transport those who need it — beam us up, Scotty.

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