Social Semantics & Web 2.0

Ask anybody what Web 2.0 means – or is (is it a concept? a thing? a phenomenon? all of the above?) and you’re bound to get a variety of answers – all of them different.

As fellow employees have pointed out here and here, the majority of ideas (both accurate as well as misguided) about Web 2.0 seem to be evolving faster than I can type this blog post.

Aside from a litany of interpretations about what Web 2.0 is, other jargony new buzzwords are also popping up left and right, such as Social Media Marketing and Social Media Optimization. I would like to tell you how these two things are different, except I have no desire to be held responsible for a definition that is likely to expire in a matter of days.

And would someone please explain to me, once and for all, why Social Tagging and Social Bookmarking continue to be lumped into the same category? There are a litany of sites that use tagging, but if one more person says to me that Flickr is a bookmarking site, I am going to scream.

Speaking of semantics and social tagging, I also wanted to add that the social networking/bookmarking/media or whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it phenomenon is also something that is of great interest to social and cognitive scientists.

From James Surowiecki talking about the wisdom of crowds (not to be confused with the anarchy of the mob) to George Lakoff analyzing what categories reveal about the mind in Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things, there’s a lot to be learned – and defined – when it comes to Web 2.0. I mean social media marketing. I mean… oh, never mind.