Web 2.0 and New Media Definitions

There is a lot of confusion around the definitions of Web 2.0 vs New Media. You will hear a lot of people use them interchangeably. Even the above linked to Wikipedia definitions don’t offer much differentiation. So while theses may not be definitive this is the difference as I see them.

Web 2.0 is the technology.

This includes things like: AJAX, Blogs, Wiki’s, podcasts, RSS, widgets and tagging.

New Media is the philosophy.

This is the new approach to how we communicate with each other. This is what makes things like social communities so powerful.

It’s the combination of these two factors at the same time that have created the change that we are experiencing. One without the other is not as powerful.

Web 2.0 is cool, I like the technology but without the philosophy it’s just a cooler way to experience the web.

New Media is great, the approach of many to many and knowledge sharing across multiple groups is extremely powerful but without the technology you are limited to off line geographically limited groups.

Combine the two you you achieve exponential results.

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About Tac Anderson

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.
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  • http://mybusinessthoughts.blogspot.com Kevin Donaldon

    I think part of the confusion also comes from the term ‘new media’. What is new today will not be new in the future, so the term is not very descriptive. I do agree and like your split between technology vs philosophy. Its not just personal philosophy either – is about an overall shift in human culture. I posted the other day about a white paper I read on the concept of
    social software being more than technology
    . How it is really about a cultural movement and less about the technology that is supporting it. As you suggest, people need to focus less on the cool tools and more about what they can do and how they can shift behaviors.

  • http://mybusinessthoughts.blogspot.com Kevin Donaldon

    I think part of the confusion also comes from the term ‘new media’. What is new today will not be new in the future, so the term is not very descriptive. I do agree and like your split between technology vs philosophy. Its not just personal philosophy either – is about an overall shift in human culture. I posted the other day about a white paper I read on the concept of
    social software being more than technology
    . How it is really about a cultural movement and less about the technology that is supporting it. As you suggest, people need to focus less on the cool tools and more about what they can do and how they can shift behaviors.

  • http://mybusinessthoughts.blogspot.com Kevin Donaldon

    I think part of the confusion also comes from the term ‘new media’. What is new today will not be new in the future, so the term is not very descriptive. I do agree and like your split between technology vs philosophy. Its not just personal philosophy either – is about an overall shift in human culture. I posted the other day about a white paper I read on the concept of
    social software being more than technology
    . How it is really about a cultural movement and less about the technology that is supporting it. As you suggest, people need to focus less on the cool tools and more about what they can do and how they can shift behaviors.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com Tac

    I think it’s also important that companies ask themselves ‘Why’. Yeah, technology lets you do some cool stuff but *why* do you want to do it? Is it the right tactic for your organization and for your audience?

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com Tac

    I think it’s also important that companies ask themselves ‘Why’. Yeah, technology lets you do some cool stuff but *why* do you want to do it? Is it the right tactic for your organization and for your audience?

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com Tac

    I think it’s also important that companies ask themselves ‘Why’. Yeah, technology lets you do some cool stuff but *why* do you want to do it? Is it the right tactic for your organization and for your audience?

  • Dave

    The great thing about the word “new” is it means exactly that.
    The future is tomorrow, and tomorrow “new” will still mean the same thing. No sense in looking behind.
    That’s my two cents. :)

  • http://www.boisesem.com Phil

    Web 2.0 seems to be kind of an amorphous, nebulous entity. Everyone seems to have a different definition and no two are the same. Some even go as far to say that it doesn’t exist. VCs seem to be convinced of web 2.0′s existence however, and have proven so with their wallets.

    Since there are already murmurs web 3.0 ala semantic web, mobile web, and non-browser internet-based programs, it will be interesting to see how it affects new media. Or will it be the new, new media?

  • http://www.boisesem.com Phil

    Web 2.0 seems to be kind of an amorphous, nebulous entity. Everyone seems to have a different definition and no two are the same. Some even go as far to say that it doesn’t exist. VCs seem to be convinced of web 2.0′s existence however, and have proven so with their wallets.

    Since there are already murmurs web 3.0 ala semantic web, mobile web, and non-browser internet-based programs, it will be interesting to see how it affects new media. Or will it be the new, new media?

  • http://www.boisesem.com Phil

    Web 2.0 seems to be kind of an amorphous, nebulous entity. Everyone seems to have a different definition and no two are the same. Some even go as far to say that it doesn’t exist. VCs seem to be convinced of web 2.0′s existence however, and have proven so with their wallets.

    Since there are already murmurs web 3.0 ala semantic web, mobile web, and non-browser internet-based programs, it will be interesting to see how it affects new media. Or will it be the new, new media?

  • http://www.daoudkuttab.com Daoud G Kuttab

    New media in our part of the world (Arab countries) means using technologies to bypass governmental restrictions. Satellite tv, web sites, electronic mailing lists, cell phone messaging, internet radio and blogs are just some examples of how people in our undemocratic countries are using technology for democratic purporse.

    daoud kuttab
    ferris professor of journalism
    princeton university (temporarily

    Founder of AmmanNet first internet radio station in arab world

  • http://www.daoudkuttab.com Daoud G Kuttab

    New media in our part of the world (Arab countries) means using technologies to bypass governmental restrictions. Satellite tv, web sites, electronic mailing lists, cell phone messaging, internet radio and blogs are just some examples of how people in our undemocratic countries are using technology for democratic purporse.

    daoud kuttab
    ferris professor of journalism
    princeton university (temporarily

    Founder of AmmanNet first internet radio station in arab world

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com Tac

    Daoud, thank you for the comment.
    I find it interesting how areas like the Middle East and China are quickly adapting to New Media/Web 2.0 as a way to communicate freely (in many cases for the first time in their lives).
    Being horribly US centric in my studies I have begun to look for Web 2.0 research done around these countries, but haven’t found much.
    I do wonder though if these new channels won’t be the biggest factors to bringing around political change.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com Tac

    Daoud, thank you for the comment.
    I find it interesting how areas like the Middle East and China are quickly adapting to New Media/Web 2.0 as a way to communicate freely (in many cases for the first time in their lives).
    Being horribly US centric in my studies I have begun to look for Web 2.0 research done around these countries, but haven’t found much.
    I do wonder though if these new channels won’t be the biggest factors to bringing around political change.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com Tac

    Daoud, thank you for the comment.
    I find it interesting how areas like the Middle East and China are quickly adapting to New Media/Web 2.0 as a way to communicate freely (in many cases for the first time in their lives).
    Being horribly US centric in my studies I have begun to look for Web 2.0 research done around these countries, but haven’t found much.
    I do wonder though if these new channels won’t be the biggest factors to bringing around political change.

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  • Dave

    The great thing about the word “new” is it means exactly that.
    The future is tomorrow, and tomorrow “new” will still mean the same thing. No sense in looking behind.
    That's my two cents. :)

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