Perspective Needed When Using the Title “Web 2.0 Expert”

Apologies for not posting over the past few weeks I think I have been suffering a case of writer's block recently. I have drifted through many ideas but have not been able to get them from pen to paper.

One of the things that has been in the back of my head for a little while is the increasing use of the word "Expert". To me being an expert in something is not only knowing your topic inside and out and living and breathing it, but also being closer to being more of an innovator than a follower.

With the increased use of Web 2.0 Technologies and Social Networking Tools, I am finding new "Web 2.0 Experts" coming up from the wood-works every day. Web 2.0 Technologies has certainly been one of the buzz words of 2008/2009. In fact just the other day the term Web 2.0 became the millionth english word. I see many people who call themselves Web 2.0 experts and think what is it exactly that quantifies them to be "Web 2.0 experts". To some people it just means having a LinkedIn or Twitter Account or being able to do a Boolean Search while to others the term expert means much more.

Web 2.0 Technologies are a part of business these days just like the phone or email (for however much longer email will live in its current format, that though is a whole new blog entry) which are normal tools of trade.

I think the title "Web 2.0 Expert" is more self promotion than anything else. If you are using this technology as part of your normal working day then I am not sure this would classify you as an "expert", it is synonomous with being a phone expert or an email expert (I do not see many people promoting themselves as phone/email experts).

If you created Twitter, Facebook, etc [insert Technology or Social Networking App here], did something new and innovative or were instrumental in seeing something come to fruition that I would think is closer to being a "Web 2.0 Expert".

Web 2.0 Technology and the use of it is very exciting and it is easy to get caught up in it, however before calling yourself an expert think of where on the spectrum you fit, how close to being an innovator are you? I was speaking to one of my colleagues today and I think she stated very nicely - "I am not a Web 2.0 Expert I am a Web 2.0 Enthusiast", which is think sums up what many of us are.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts. Send in or email your comments to david.talamelli@oracle.com - What do you think a "Web 2.0 Expert" is?

Comments:

I certainly am a Web 2.0 Enthusiast but to answer your question of "What do you think a "Web 2.0 Expert" is? " I beleive people who build tools using Web2.0 technologies for the enterprise can be called Web 2.0 experts. A classic example would be our own Oracle Connect which was built by a small group of developers who have incorporated some really cool features similar to those available in Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. Another example would be OraTweet which tool is Oracle's version of Twitter (Twitter within the firewall). Well I would call these developers Web2.0 experts because of their understanding of the technology and incorporating it in the enterprise space.

Posted by Subhankar on June 12, 2009 at 07:41 AM CST #

What do you think a "Web 2.0 Expert" is? Web 2.0 is Just Web 2.0 anyway. About "Web 2.0 Expert" ; That's someone who and something where... use Web 2.0 to make Good Community, Good Social, Good Marketing, Good Idea and Good... Everybody know about Web 2.0, But someone only know how to make it be good things.

Posted by Surachart Opun on June 12, 2009 at 08:56 AM CST #

Good post David. This is a concept that I've struggled with over the last year or two. Even though I'm now part of an Oracle Internal team that is trying to promote and adopt best practice of Web 2.0, I am far from an expert. I think this comes from the fact that things change so frequently in this field. To be honest I'm not even 100% happy with the term Web 2.0, as it can be quite finite, and raises the question when does 2.0 become 3.0, 4.0 etc. In fact we have started using the term Social Media interchangeably with Web 2.0 Regards Frank

Posted by Frank on June 12, 2009 at 01:55 PM CST #

I totally agree with you David, I am an "enterprise 2.0" consultant and I would class it in the same buzz word category as web 2.0, sometimes I fear web 2.0 hype is akin to the dot com hype of the late 90's. The main differences I find in web 2.0 experts and the technology is the ability to work, share, communicate & collaborate through various mediums, in a "do it in a way that suits you". To me this is how I envisage most of the solutions I provide and the step up from web 1.0 where the user must bend to the will of a system as opposed to the system being moulded around the user as web 2.0 is today. When ever I meet a web 2.0 evangelist I point them here http://www.dack.com/web/bullshit.html a great way to come up with some new buzzwords ;-)

Posted by Steven Mitchell on June 16, 2009 at 03:51 PM CST #

It depends what your role is: do you want to be a Web 2.0 Expert user or a Web 2.0 implementer or innovator? The nice aspect of Web 2.0 is that you don't need to be a developer to be an expert. For example, a marketing manager who can put together a coherent social media marketing plan and then executive it to support business and marketing objectives is just as much an expert as a developer writing apps for the iphone. Also take the term expert with a grain of salt. Tim O'Reilly only defined the term Web 2.0 a few years ago, so anyone claiming overall expertise may be overloading the term. However if you understand what social media can do for you, your company and your clients and how it relates to the rest of your business plus you know how to implement programs across a reasonable spectrum of the technologies associated with Web 2.0, then I think you can consider yourself reasonably expert.

Posted by Amanda Noz on June 19, 2009 at 03:37 PM CST #

Hello David! Nice post indeed.. Well I have just joined in a company; Citywala Infotech Pvt. Ltd. in Bhopal, and I was given the designation of a Web 2.0 Expert, since my work involves using tools like Bulk / Personalised Emails, Newsletters, Notices to motivate users to logon to our portal Daily and use the services that we provide such as BLOGs and Forum Discussions; posting in BLOGs related to iBranch.in on various networking platforms to promote our portal among our userbase. Since I am new to this field, I would like to ask you, how would you like to categorise this work.. You would call it a Web 2.0 Expert or a Web 2.0 enthusiast or anything else after Web 2.0 (xyz) Regards Nidhi Pandey

Posted by Nidhi Pandey on August 28, 2009 at 01:53 PM CST #

Hi Nidhi, Thanks for your comments, the message I was trying to convey in this article is that just because you use Facebook or LinkedIn or any other social networking site out there it does not immediately qualify you a Web 2.0 expert. We are enthusiasts, I would think there would be a handful of "experts" (how do we define an expert anyway?). I am not sure of how your role fits into your company structure, but if you have just joined a company and this is your first role of this type - I am not sure the title expert applies. I hope this helps and best of luck in your new job, I hope it goes well. Thanks; David T

Posted by David Talamelli on August 31, 2009 at 03:54 AM CST #

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