Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cool Video, but What's the Content, Again?

Pretty much everyone who was awake this morning linked to the "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us" video, which is nicely done, but what's its argument? The first half is all about the importance of separating form and content on the web by moving from HTML to XML. From there, Prof. Wesch asserts that "with form separated from content, users did not need to know complicated code to upload content to the web." Um... what? Because those XML editors are so much easier to use than the WYSIWIG HTML editors? XML is a good thing, but practically speaking, our lives have been made easier by database backed web applications that can spit out HTML, XML, JSON or whatever you want. Occasionally this is done primarily with specifically XML technologies (XSLT, etc.), but primarily, this tool chain hasn't risen to dominance.

Beyond that point (which I think is important, as it is the pivot between the first and second half of the piece, coming exactly in the middle), the obvious importance of the form of this video itself refutes the importance of a separation of form and content and that separation's role in "Web 2.0." This is a video, it isn't XML, and you can't separate its form from its content, and it should be quite clear that its popularity is due to its form rather than its content. If you re-worked this as a textual post, its incoherence would be obvious, and it would be ignored.


Miguel Guhlin (@mGuhlin) said...

Tom, the video didn't do much for me either. However, Dion's image that I shared here:

is what really helped me understand Web 2.0. It makes me interested in seeing what that graphic would look like with school topics.

BTW, did you see this GoogleFun post? It features you...

(evil grin)


Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher said...

We are visual people. What I think the video does is explain to a beginner who knows NOTHING about this concept of Web 2.0 what it is and the power of the Internet. I don't think it is targeted to more advanced people.

I liked the video and it meant something to me - I also showed it to my students because of the methodology he used in making the video. I think that my students could use such screen capture effectively in their videos that they make for the class wiki. It is a great technique that beginners can use.

Perhaps it could have been cut in half, though!?