Scott Hanselman

Web 2.0 Explained in Video by Michael Wesch

February 09, 2007 Comment on this post [12] Posted in Musings
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It moves fast, so pay attention, but this is the single best 5-minute explanation of Web 2.0 I've seen. It was created by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University.

It's absolutely worth your five minutes.

I'm personally interested in what your spouses and parents thinks about it.

Too fast? Too intense? To many concepts too fast? Or does it open their eyes and help them to "get" Web 2.0? 

Dad, what do you think?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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February 09, 2007 2:05
That was pretty sweet. Anything that can make "boring" old web programming look cool is fine by me.
February 09, 2007 2:08
Also, I think non-programmers will find it interesting and hip, but their eyes will still probably glaze over at the sight of XML.
February 09, 2007 3:43
As a former Anthro Major I really dug the whole approach to semantics here - and i think anyone could follow this. (Though it did drive me crazy that he didn't close his tags ;))
February 09, 2007 3:57
I think this video will be most impactful to a programmer audience. Personally I found it very interesting, but if I were to show this to my dad it would certainly raise more questions than aide in his understanding Web 2.0. A lot of the examples used in the video rely on context to truly "understand" - like the XML/HTML examples. My father would be instantly lost soon as he saw all that mumbo jumbo. Either way - very cool.
February 09, 2007 7:03
I second Jeremys' comments. I was lost rather quickly in regard to "the message". I rely on your expertise to tell us what we need/what on our computer, and my working knowledge of programming is, again, limited to what I have gleaned from you. I have to admit that I understood some of the concepts, but "glazed over" quickly.
February 09, 2007 7:29
Extremely cool.
February 09, 2007 11:49
For a developer at least, I think this is effective are communicating its ideas - my wife, watching it, would probably have a hard time with how fast it moved and would be distracted by the parts where he dives into html and xml. All in all, it was great though.
February 09, 2007 12:07
Really cool video.
February 09, 2007 13:54
Definitely a nice try, but not quite right.

It was a bit too fast - as a developer familiar with the concepts, I had to rewind a bit at one point when the typing went too fast for me to absorb it. Although the idea of typing explanatory text into the raw HTML/XML was a neat way of establishing context, that context was also a distraction; how much of this do I need to understand?

The tight editing and "hipness" were a major plus, so I wouldn't want to slow it down too much - just selectively in the code sections where there's a lot going on. I might be tempted to edit in something other than a plain text editor, so that I could use colour or some other mechanism to separate the commentary from the code. Or maybe use an obvious video trick to highlight the commentary text, just to avoid confusion with the capabilities/requirements of the text editor.

It came close to delivering the message about separation of style and content, and the importance of tagging, but I came away feeling a bit unsure as to why these things were good. It also lacked a good example of the separation of style and content - something like Zen Garden could have been used to do this quickly and effectively. Personally, I believe in these things already, but if I didn't this video wouldn't convince me. It might make me ask more questions though.

Despite the heavy reliance on the editability of electronic text, I noticed he didn't fix his typo (a missing letter) in one of the code sessions...
February 09, 2007 15:22
Was it really whole 5 minutes?? It absorbed me; the music fits in greatly and the typing speed was just fine. I'd guess web is the one place where we are living in the future.
February 10, 2007 2:13
I really enjoyed that. I don't think my parents would understand it any means, but I really enjoyed his work.
February 10, 2007 21:47
Wow! Its awesome.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.