Last week’s New Statesman magazine (4th August 2008) had a special supplement entitled “Citizen 2.0”. As described in a blog post by Aleks Krotoski, Technology Correspondent of the Guardian and chair of the event this was a summary of a roundtable discussion on “Privacy, security and civil liberties in a digital society”.
The main article in the Work supplement of Saturday’s Guardian (5th August 2008) was entitled “Strike 2.0” and described how strike actions in the 21st century are beginning to make use of social networking services.
The Guardian also published a leader column on 16th July 2008 which was entitled “David Cameron 2.0“.
And a review of Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends” album published in The Observer on 8 June 2008 described how “After three best-selling works which the piano-rock four-piece now consider a trilogy concluded, Coldplay declared themselves ready for Coldplay 2.0“.
The 2.0 meme is now established in mainstream journalism, it seems – well, perhaps only left-of-centre publications, although I haven’t read the Telegraph or the Mail for some time :-).
I wonder if the style guides for these publications has been updated to define how this term should be used? I am comfortable will use of the term in this way, just as I am when I hear terms such as ‘library 2.0‘, ‘e-learning 2.0‘, ‘research 2.0‘, ‘enterprise 2.0‘ and ‘government 2.0‘ . And I am pleased that the Web industry has had an impact on the language which now seems to be becoming accepted within the mainstream media,
An earlier attempt by the Web community to describe a new generation of technologies was the suffix NG, which was used, for example, to describe HTTP-NG. I have to admit that I’m please that coining of this term by fans of Star Trek failed to take off.
In the political sphere we have seen the term ‘New’ being used to describe the different approach which was taken by the Labout party in the mid 1990s. We subsequently saw the term ‘modern’ and ‘moderniser’ being used to describe the response being made by the Conservative party. Now although I suspect many readers won’t describe themselves as fans of ‘New Labour’ or the modernised Conservative party it should be acknowledged that these terms were widely used and understood, even if they did not have a rigourous definition.
And for me it’s just the same with Web 2.0, e-learning 2.0, Library 2.0, etc. Let’s get over debates about these broad terms and instead discuss the issues.