Monday, October 29, 2007

Making Web 2.0 applications meaningful for Developement

Extermely true!
At the Web2forDev conference,web 2.0 tools were discussed as tools which "have changed traditional patterns of communication and knowledge sharing." However, the audience were warned not to focus on Web 2.0 tools only. Web 2.0 tools are valuable for bringing people together, but it is also important to think further than the web. "When we think about participatory web, it’s not about laptops and high bandwidth… it’s about mobile phones. There are 3 billion handsets worldwide, and it is estimated that 80-90% of people in the developing world can access a mobile phone if they need to. This is a level of penetration of technology that changes the rules of the game. We need to broaden our thinking beyond the Web."

They reached a conclusion that more exploration of the use of these tools is a must."On the one hand Web 2.0 offers us five key tools - blogs, wikis, tags, feeds and mash-ups – but on the other hand, in order to make the application of the tools meaningful for development, we also have to overcome five key challenges: we need to think about how we involve the right people; if the people we are trying to reach have access in terms of connectivity, infrastructure and language; if people actually will participate; how we structure and organize content; and finally, how we will measure the changes we have made. It is only when we use the afore-mentioned new tools with an approach to overcome the five challenges listed above that we will be able to further enhance development activities.’Chris Addison.

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