Sunday, August 13, 2006

Web 2.0 Starter Kit

Over a great pizza at Ken's Artisan Pizza in SE Portland this week, I was talking about how many people are getting excited about the web 2.0 buzz, but are having difficulty really grokking the concept. Todd suggested that I put together a web 2.0 starter kit to help people learn more about web 2.0. I encourage comments on this post to point out the inevitable misses, and I hope to update this post with more ideas as the web 2.0 concept evolves. I encourage you to forward this to people with questions about web 2.0.

The Web 2.0 Starter Kit

Step 1: Read Tim O'Reilly's essay, What is Web 2.0, and the Wikipedia entry on Web 2.0.

Step 2: Read web 2.0 blogs.

I recommend these:

Extra credit:

Use RSS and subscribe to the above blogs plus five others. If you need more help getting started with RSS, Netvibes has a fairly intuitive interface, and you can even click here to get a copy of my Web 2.0 / technology rss feed tab.

Search for blogs on another topic of personal interest using any of the common blog search engines: Technorati or Google Blog Search, for example.

Step 3: Stop reading and starting participating.

This is the most important step. You will not truly understand web 2.0 unless you participate in it.


If do not already have a blog create one! Blogger is an easy place to start. Pick a topic that you are passionate about (technology, photography, wine, beer, cats, dogs, sports, your kids, or anything else) and commit to posting something every other day.

Use these sites every day for one week.

  • Create bookmarks

  • Share some of your photographs on Flickr

  • Join any social networking site. I suggest MySpace for those under 30 or LinkedIn for the over 30 crowd. Add 5 MySpace friends or LinkedIn connections.

  • Participate in Digg by submitting a story and digging a few stories that you find interesting. Extra credit: Add Kevin Rose as your friend.

  • Visit YouTube and watch three of the “most viewed” videos of the day. Forward one to a friend (congratulations you are now viral).

  • Add yourself to my Web 2.0 Starter Kit Frappr map with a “shout out” message.

Step 4: Repeat Step 1.

After participating in various web 2.0 activities, you will gain new insights from re-reading the O'Reilly essay and the Wikipedia entry.

Step 5: Continue Learning

Watch the Web 2.0: The 24 Minute Documentary.

Web 2.0 is not something that you can learn once and then stop. Because web 2.0 is still developing and maturing, new ideas and new websites pop up every day. Keep reading the blogs in Step 2 and continue to play with new web 2.0 technologies as they appear.


Dave Lee said...

hi dawn. the starter kit is great! I plan to refer to it often. I do have two suggestions. 1) Maybe look at getting a tinyurl or some other proxy url for the permalink so that it would be easier for people to refer to your great resource. 2) The only content change I'd make to the kit would be to add viewing Jon Udall's Heavy Medal Umlaut Movie about how Wikipedia works to the homework assignment.

Raman Basu said... is improving a lot day by day,and being a user I feel excited.

llywrch said...

I'm curious about one omission in your post: in your list of ways to participate in Web 2.0, you omitted any mention of Wikipedia. Were you thinking of a specific Web 2.0 experience? Or has Wikipedia's reputation (admittedly only with certain groups of people) of being hostile to new users affected your choice of options? As an active & proud Wikipedian, I'd be interested in hearing about any bad experiences with this project.


Dawn Foster said...


Actually, I am a huge fan of Wikipedia, and wikis in general. I almost included Wikipedia as a an exercise in the participation section of the web 2.0 starter kit. I decided not to include it only because I think that Wikipedia is an important resource, and I want people to contribute to it to share their expertise, but not as an exercise to learn about web 2.0. You Wikipedians do great stuff - keep it up!

LaSandra Brill said...

Great list! I would also include a few recommeded RSS readers since most newbies don't know where to start. My favorite is Google Reader...but people should test a few to see which one fits their work style best.