Bye bye Web 2.0, hello social media

A quick post to comment on another blog post here at Library Bytes which tells us that as a term ‘Web 2.0’ is now dead and that ‘social media’ has supplanted it. Hoora and Huzzah I say! I don’t know about you, but I always found it really difficult to explain Web 2.0 to library stakeholders and, if I’m honest, back in the day it took me a while to get my head around it myself. Web 2.0 never seemed specific or descriptive enough while ‘social media’ manages to encapsulate the linked activities of content creation and social interaction very neatly.

Now we just have to get rid of the dreaded ‘Library 2.0’ for something better. I’m all for reclaiming the terms  ‘Library’ and ‘Librarians’, especially after years labouring under the title Senior Information Officer which meant everyone had even less clue as to what I did than they do now, but Library 2.0 has always seemed to me even more incomprehensible than Web 2.0  and has an inevitable bandwagon-esque feel. I think I may even prefer ‘books n’ stuff’! (see image below)

Does anyone out there passionately disagree with me?



4 thoughts on “Bye bye Web 2.0, hello social media

  1. Deborah Morrison says:

    I came back from the conference determined to get my name changed from Information Research officer (how I hate the word ‘officer’ but the unis like it) I spoke to my old line manager who is a marketer and mentioned this to him, suggesting that I changed it to Business School Librarian. He still had the oldfashioned view of the word library and librarians. I said I thought there was a swing back towards the term librarian but he wouldn’t buy it. I’ve set him a challenge to come up with something better but I doubt I’ll hear anything.


    1. libreaction says:

      Some days I like to be called Head Librarian others I think to huge swathes of people it hides what I actually do in my working life. I’ve spent the last 18 months at Cambridge trying to make business school stakeholders understand that the library can no longer be defined by its physical confines and that instead the library is accessible everywhere (through our portal) and that its highly appropriate for myself and my Deputy to be teaching on all programmes and developing a social media presence. Heigh-ho. Great to see you at Ashridge by the way.


  2. Juanita F-J says:

    Isn’t it a case of ” a rose by any other name…”? Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 do have that sense of buzz word bingo about them, but for me it’s not the terminology but the ethos behind them that is key. The notion of user being at the centre, all of us being contributors/content creators and most importantly of all part of a network that shares ideas/experiences as a means of improving a service.

    Library 2.0 as a term served a function of making you think about what it meant to be a librarian and/or provide a library service. It acted as a lens to put focus back on the user and the service, and opened up the possibility of dialogue.


  3. libreaction says:

    Yup – the ethos is key, but if you have to start dialogue with stakeholders by explaining this sort of terminology it’s a non-starter. I agree though that the term was/is useful to those of us who are already in the know. Depends on what you’re trying to do I guess. My game is promotion and marketing of our services to users above anything else and the message needs to be clear and direct.


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