One of the foundations critical to the way Web 2.0 works is the concept of collaboration. Web 2.0 takes the “read” web (where information interacts with consumers in one direction – off the page and into their heads) and turns it into the “read/write” web (where information is both consumed and provided by users). This is what landed “You” as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2006! But what has really sparked the Web 2.0 revolution is a third element: read/write/remix. Web 2.0 gives us the ability to pull information together from disparate sources, creating our own story from various elements. This is what makes digital storytelling work in an interactive environment. Storytelling 2.0 (Digital Storytelling utilizing Web 2.0 tools) combines an interactive environment with collaborative attitudes from the contributors – up to and including the readers!
This same ability to easily incorporate source material and to hyperlink references for uncomplicated referral changes academic writing. When the primary sources are one or two clicks away, the role of the author changes (or can change, with enough courage and foresight!). Now, instead of interpreting source material for the reader, academics can guide a reader in a direct examination of the primary sources. The role of the academic is changing from “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side.” In a Web 2.0 world, academic writing should include enough information to aid a reader in referencing the primary sources and forming their own conclusions. There are many outstanding questions in academia that indicates that this shift in academic writing is far from being accepted!