First Monday is out with a collection of essays that might be of interest in terms of contextualizing where the whole 2.0 thing is at. From the introduction:

The rhetoric surrounding Web 2.0 infrastructures presents certain cultural claims about media, identity, and technology. It suggests that everyone can and should use new Internet technologies to organize and share information, to interact within communities, and to express oneself. It promises to empower creativity, to democratize media production, and to celebrate the individual while also relishing the power of collaboration and social networks.

But Web 2.0 also embodies a set of unintended consequences, including the increased flow of personal information across networks, the diffusion of one’s identity across fractured spaces, the emergence of powerful tools for peer surveillance, the exploitation of free labor for commercial gain, and the fear of increased corporatization of online social and collaborative spaces and outputs.

I’ve added a bunch of these to my “To Read” list (which just keeps getting longer), but I settled into one by David Silver titled “History, Hype and Hope: An Afterword.” Here is a part from the “Hope” section:

This is the writeable generation, a generation of young people who think of media as something they read and something they write – often simultaneously. This is a generation of content creators, a generation of young people who with the help of Web 2.0 tools know how to create content, how to share content, and how to converse about content. This is the generation for whom broadcast media – and its silent, obedient audiences – is rapidly fading and for whom conversations make more sense than lectures. This is a new generation with new writeable behaviors and it’s hard not to be hopeful about that.

I’ve got a post brewing about what our students really know and can do in this Web 2.0 world, and I think I’m slowly coming to understand that this type of rhetoric (of which I have been guilty of kind of dreamily espousing myself) is really still hope, not reality. Kids have the potential to do this in ways that no other generation ever has, but not so many are doing a great job of creating content and coversations and exhibiting “writeable behaviors” to the extent that most would like to think.

At any rate, just offering up the link for those that might be interested…