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What are the Values of Web 2.0 Technologies to a Student of Media and Communications?

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Introduction

Business Web media Module No: BUSB124 Module Leader: Margaret McCann Matriculation Number: 200707989 "Web 2.0 is a collection of technologies and frameworks that enable collaboration from a social perspective" (Solomon and Schrum, 2007: 1). Such technologies include blogs, wikis, RSS and social networking. The value of web 2.0 technologies is particularly significant to a student of media and communications, as one can easily expand their knowledge from other students and tutors, as well as from websites across the globe, and this can contribute to one's awareness and overall understanding of many aspects of the media. Blogs are "part of the web 2.0 and social media technology movement where websites are used to facilitate audience participation between community members to build content and value". (Cass, 2007: 200). Blogging is the means by which a user can publish information on the web about a specific topic, and this information can be accessed by other users who can then respond to the chosen topic, almost like an interactive online journal. Blogs are particularly useful to a student of media and communications as they permit linkage to other users and thus allow one to participate in web based discussions with a wide network, allowing a range of thoughts and ideas relating to a particular facet of any topic to be shared online. ...read more.

Middle

for education" (Richardson, 2006: 8). Once one has an RSS reader, one can then create and subscribe to RSS feeds based on keyword searches which can be monitored in blogs, such as Google Blog Search, in news such as Yahoo! News and also in message boards and forums such as BoardReader.com. RSS readers automatically carry out checks on sites for new content which is then delivered to the newsfeed on one's RSS account. Thus RSS readers are extremely useful to a student of media and communications in terms of time-efficiency, as there is no need to constantly check sites for updates, and for gaining knowledge of different opinions and ideas, especially as topics relating to the media are frequently debated and such discussions will likely be updated on a regular basis. Technorati, a search engine for searching blogs, uses RSS to track updates to millions of blogs, thus this search engine would be extremely useful to students. Wikis are also becoming more and more popular in the field of education. A wiki is "software that allows users to create, edit and link pages easily. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki). ...read more.

Conclusion

This in turn could give such a student the necessary skills and understanding to enable one to generate such technology in the future. Overall, it is very important for a student of media and communications to be familiar with different forms of communication technology, as web 2.0 technologies are valuable sources of information and have been becoming more and more relevant to the media today. Such technologies contribute immensely to our overall understanding of the media, which is extremely important concerning individuals studying in this particular field. Web 2.0 technologies are becoming part of our everyday lives, and the significance of blogs, wikis, RSS and social networking is tremendous nowadays. Thus it is important for a student of media and communications to incorporate these into our studies. Such a student can do this in a variety of ways, from gaining knowledge and developing writing and expression skills through the use of blogs, communicating project ideas and gaining feedback from fellow team members through the use of wikis, subscribing to RSS readers such as Gooogle Reader to monitor updates on particular topics based on keyword searches relating to the media, right to using social networking to share personal projects (such as home-produced videos) with fellow students or simply with people who share similar interests. ...read more.

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