Friday, October 27, 2006
Web 2.0 and Higher Ed
There has been a lot of talk about Web 2.0 over the last year. I stated in a previous blog post that the University of Arizona is going to be offering courses in conjunction with IBM about web 2.0 and the integration therein with the business world. If you are still fuzzy on what web 2.0 sites look like, then you should check out this ongoing list of web 2.0 sites located at http://www.go2web20.net/
One key characteristic about these sites is that their success depends on the size and involvement of their user community. Web 2.0 sites harness the collective intelligence of their users. The more users contributing content to the site, the better the site. People sharing information with other people is the cornerstone. It is the ultimate word of mouth marketing system. Ebay has been doing this for a long time with their feedback feature in which, buyers leave comments about sellers thus bolstering the sellers integrity. Amazon does this with book reviews. Travel websites do this with customer experience reviews. It might not be too long before higher education web 2.0 sites pop up and use this format for students to leave feedback to each other about organizations, courses, majors, instructors, colleges, etc. Student satisfaction will be easily communicated and the universities that will benefit will be the ones that listen to the students and care deeply about their needs. Sooner or later, everything inside the walls of academia will be transparent for the world to see. Hopefully, the world will get to see something beautiful from your university.