We are now seeing the Web developing from its childhood to a, sometimes troublesome, adolescent in our institutions. In its infant years IT service departments took responsibility for helped to nurture and develop the baby (they read the Apache manuals, learnt Perl programming and developed some simple rules so the Web wouldn’t get into too much mischief). And when the Web was old enough to be let out into public the PR and marketing departments took charge, and made sure it was dressed properly before being let out into public.

But all of a sudden the Web has turned into a teenager. It doesn’t want to do as its told. It wants to wear whatever it wants, and not the nice suit and tie we’ve bought for it. Sometimes it swears. And it wants its own identity. “I’m not Web, any more” it tells us “I’m Web 2.0 – and I can do what I want!

And maybe we’ve been too over-protective. Perhaps we should give it more responsibility, even though this may be painful. And if it want to call itself “Web 2.0”, then that’s OK (even though it will always be Web 1.0 to its parents).

It makes me smile, sometimes, when I remember when I was a similar age. I was into ‘punk’ and annoyed my parents by dressing strangely. So maybe when it says it wants to ‘mashup a YouTube video’ (I think that’s what it says; I don’t really understand – I just know it sounds like something I should ban) this is similar to what we tried to do when we were young.

Now I wonder what it will be like when it reaches its early adulthood? And when did I suddenly become middle-aged? I’ll be voting Conservative next (only joking, I’m New Labour through and through, me.)

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