Two Videos on Web 2.0, Two Approaches and Tucows

[This post also appears on the Tucows Blog.]

The First Video: Web 2.0

First, let me show you a video titled Web 2.0, a reading that distills countless “Web 2.0” articles over a montage of associated images. It runs for 5 minutes, 17 seconds, but watching more than a minute of it is a waste of your time:

The Second Video: The Machine is Us/ing Us

In response to the video above, Michael Wesch, an associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, made the following video titled The Machine is Us/ing Us. Go ahead and watch it, it’ll be 4 minutes and 31 seconds of well-spent time:

Two Approaches

Both videos cover the same topic and make use of the same “video on the web” format, but they’re worlds apart.

If the way Web 2.0 presented its information seemed old and moldy yet oddly familiar, that’s because it’s simply yet another one those old educational films you saw back in high school, but dressed up in online video clothes. It’s rich in information, but it might as well be every other bad PowerPoint presentation you’ve ever had to endure. New technology, old thinking.

The Machine is Us/ing Us is a different creature. It says more with less. Although it has background music like Web 2.0, it skips the narration entirely, using the structures, forms, features and conventions of its subject matter. It uses the web to explain the web. It was made using the same technologies as those used to make Web 2.0, but it makes much better use of the medium and the technology and conveys its message more effectively.

A Better Approach

Over the past little while, there’s been a noticeable change here at the Tucows office. There a sense of “we need to take a better approach” around here. It’s in the reports I’ve read and the meetings I’ve attended. As the tech evangelist, I deal with almost every department in the building and I can see people all over working on better processes, better ways to build things and better ways to work with our customers, trying out new things and new ideas. Although you can’t see the end result of all this internal change just yet, from where I sit, the difference looks like the difference between the two videos above.

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