The death of “Web 2.0” and Why Asia

The impact of term Web 2.0 is shrinking? According to this article, the author drew this conclusion based on the Google trend analysis retrieved early this year, which shows a significant decrease in the search for term Web 2.0 since 2007.

In my mind, Web 2.0 equals interactive web media based on user-generated content. However, with the stabilization and maturation of the technology related to Web 2.0, various forms of Web 2.0 services tend to generate very distinct user experiences and it seems that people don’t normally treat them as the same things. For instance, Google’s search engine and people’s personal blogs are all interactive media based on “Web 2.0” technology that surpasses web 1.0’s passively viewing experience and non-interactive homepage, but rarely do people consider these two things as the same thing simply because the experience associated with these two platforms are so different. It is same with Wikipedia and Facebook. As a result, people are more willing to consider these Web 2.0 services separately as search engines, blogs, wikipedia sites and social-networking sites instead of broadly referring them as Web 2.0 sites. So I guess maybe that’s one of the factors that contribute to the fading impact of the term Web 2.0.

Another interesting thing noted in the article is that when looking at the geographic regions that have generated the highest volumes of worldwide search traffic for the term over the years – it’s Asia, with the top 5 regions being India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia (in that order). This piece of fact demonstrates the particular significance of Web 2.0 for Asia. I think this is largely related to the great opportunities and business potentials brought about by Web 2.0 framework to Asia. Take Facebook for an example: in many other Capitalist market of the world such as Europe and America, Facebook takes a very significant share of the market as a social networking website. While in Asia, Facebook is more a type of inspiration, and a basic model for many local reconstructed or “clone” sites such as CyWorld (Korea), and Fropper (India), Renren (China), Mixi (Japan). These localized versions all occupy more share of the market than Facebook in their specific regions. So maybe it explains the popularity of terms of Web 2.0 in Asia, as the term signifies undeveloped potential for localization and endless space for innovation.

(Pic Source: Google Trend)

Rebiya Kadeer & Melbourne International Film Festival

8th August’s protest before Melbourne Town hall against the screening of the Film “Ten Conditions of Love” brought the whole Rebiya Kadeer movie controversy to another climax. For me, witnessing this kind of conflict actually evokes more complex feelings and thoughts than if I heard or read about them in China.

The MIFF’s attitude is clear that they do not want to threaten the independency of the film festival, and especially when it comes to a film made by an Australian director.

According to Richard Moore, the executive of the MIFF,

“On Friday I received a call from Ms Chen, who is based here in Melbourne at the Chinese consulate. She told me that she was ringing to urge me to withdraw the particular film Ten Conditions Of Love from the festival. I said I had no reason to withdraw the film from the festival and she then proceeded to tell me that I had to justify my decision to include the film in the festival. I said ‘Well, I’m very sorry but I didn’t have any reason to justify the inclusion of the film in the festival.’ So she then proceeded to … list Rebiya Kadeer’s crimes. I have to say to you after about five minutes I blanked out………She plainly wasn’t happy [the festival will continue as planned] and as I said before, she just went on to list Rebiya Kadeer’s crimes and unfortunately I had to tell her that I could no longer continue the conversation because I’d already expressed my opinion, so I politely hung up.”

It is easy for me to image how Ms Chen, as a representative of Chinese governemnt, used the authoritative tones (just like these TV propaganda shown on major Chinese TVs) to list Rebiya’s crimes such as the terrorist riots she incited in Western China (which Rebiya denied ). This might be a persuasive discourse in China where the dominant ideology of the society is constantly produced and constructed by the Chinese Communist Party. But within the context of Australia, the executive of MIFF obvious sounds “confused” or a little “annoyed”…… Obviously, there is nothing wrong with showing a documentary regarding the spiritual leader of an ethnic group in the Film Festival, and it is also supposed to be a natural thing for giving her the freedom of expressing issues about her ethnicity.

 

I had once thought that the controversy would over after three Chinese filmmakers withdrew their films from Film Festival in protest against the screening of “Ten Conditions of Love”, but, things gotten more ridiculous…..

It is said that

“The hackers broke into the festival’s website, just hours after Premier John Brumby officially opened the 2009 festival at the Arts Centre.

The hackers replaced festival information with the Chinese flag and anti-Kadeer slogans and were last night continuing to disrupt the site by spamming.

“We like film but we hate Rebiya Kadeer,” one message says and calls for an apology to the Chinese people.”

However, the hacking definitely didn’t change the minds of the MIFF organizers, who told ABC:

How could we change our mind now?” said Richard Moore.

“It just makes our position even, even stronger and we may even consider programming more sessions of 10 Conditions of Love.”

Apparently, Chinese netizens were quite furious about MIFF’s disrespect to Chinese government’s suggestion, and it seemed that MIFF’s insistence did  hurt Chinese people’s feelings. So, after the decision of more session of “Ten Conditions of Love” to be shown, four more Chinese-language films were withdrawn, and a long-term Hong Kong-based sponsor  pulled out of the event.

The situation is complex, and I guess each side would always provide their own version of the justification. I’m just thinking of what such not-so-pleasant consequences might imply….. It is obviously a very poor strategy for Chinese government to try to make the rest of the world to see the events through the same lens they use. As is shown here, this would probably only result in more confusion and misunderstanding between China and other countries. On the other hand, MIFF also seems to be facing a dilemma of choosing between its independency and its credibility of “an International Film Festival”.

Another blog place

I was initially going to Wordpress. org and all it asked me to do was to download a software, which I did and found it quite confusing…. anyway It took me quite a few more minutes until I finally come to WordPress. com and started my account. Guess Wordpress could make this more easier by putting a link or something on the “WordPress.org” page.

First impression, this is a blog spot that is quite different from other blogs I encountered before, like Windows Space or Bloggers. The frontpage looks nice and friendly, and i was surprised that there is not much eye-crossing ads popping in front of me.  This also seems to be a blog place where every blogs are clearly tagged and well-organized, and i have to say that most blogs are well-written with some extent of depth and professional attitude, rather than simply daily bitchings and gossips, it’s like everybody is trying to “publish” something that is worth reading and sharing.

Besides, it  seems to have a very good connections with other social network websites like Facebook and Twitters.

I also find the multi-language supportive web framework very intriguing. It provides a quite smooth experience e to search and read blogs other than English, which is a really cool thing for multi-language users like me.

Havn’t tried all the features in the right column, but will definitely do…..