The World of Web Technologies
Watch a video of the layout (YouTube)
The Web Innovation Project “Innovation Showcase” is a one day event which will “summarise and present project achievements and other new web technologies”. It will be held at the Kay Building (virtual tour also available ) on the 26th of March from 11:30 until 14:00, and is open to all staff and students of the University.
5 Themed “Innovation Exploration” Tables
The day is designed to be quite free form, and visitors will be encouraged to browse content and chat to subject experts at one of five “innovation exploration” tables. These five tables will explore the five themes of Collaboration, Creation, Information, Location & Publication, and the various web technologies & services that are relevant to these themes.
More and more websites are allowing the average user to edit and change content, and with this ability comes the ability to collaborate at a distance within a virtual space. This collaboration may be as simple as questions and answers on a discussion board to the elaborate real time streaming of video and audio between multiple users within an Adobe Connect meeting room. What all these web tools have in common though is that they allow an individual to have a virtual presence, and they allow that presence to make it’s thoughts known in the virtual world.
Computer creation tools have for many years been confined to the desktop, but as the power of the browser grows and bandwidth becomes wider so they are now spreading into the web. Even tools like Photoshop, reknowned for many years as requiring a fairly serious computer in order to be used properly, now has a web cousin – albeit a very lightweight version of the software. The advent of new web software such as the Google Docs and Zoho suites of Office type applications is only the start of a growing trend towards more and more web based personal creation tools.
Information is at the very heart of the web, as the hyperlink itself’s very reason for existence is to allow people to move through self-created information paths of personally relevant content. The web has become so much more than simple information dissemination though, with many web services and tools growing up around the basic pages, allowing people to filter and automate information discovery in clever and powerful ways. Web services like Google Alerts can become your own personal search hound, and sites like CiteULike can make bibliographical referencing and re-formulation much quicker and easier.
Sites like Google Maps have been around for some time now, and together with their 3D cousins such as Google Earth they’ve given us new ways in which to explore far off lands without leaving our desks. Other sites have utilised these geo-coded spaces by overlaying different objects onto depictions of the real world, such as adding pictures to their correct geographical location. The rise of the mobile web is now offering new twists on this model – since a mobile device knows where it’s user is currently located, clever web services can now offer them only those services which are currently available in their vicinity.
Many commentators have likened the rise of the web, and especially the rise of web 2.0 i.e. the read/write web, with the rise of the first printing press in the 15th century. Then, as now, advances in technology drastically lowered the barriers to publication, allowing a much greater section of the population the ability to spread their ideas far and wide. Now anyone with access to a computer and the web can become a publisher overnight, whether through a regular personal blog, the 140 characters of new microblogging sites such as Twitter, or even their own personal website through Google Sites.