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Monday, October 23 12:00 AM ET

BBspot Labs: A Look at Web 2.0

A lot of you fans out there have been writing me, asking about that there newfangled Web 2.0. As you all know, BBlabs is on the forefront of technological advances - we're way beyond bleeding edge. So of course, we've been on web 2.0 for quite a while. And let me say it right away: Web 2.0 isn't for everyone. Most of you will probably be happier staying back on good old Web 1.0. Just like my mother: She's still running Win 95, and she's happy. Sure, she's on a double dose of Prozac, but that's beyond the point.

A lot of the questions we've received are about hardware requirements - if your rigs are powerful enough to run Web 2.0. Don't worry, if anything, the hardware requirements are lower than what you're used to. What you should worry about, however, is if you are ready to make the switch. Web 2.0 demands much more from its users. You can't just leech information like you're used to - you have to deliver. I like to think of Web 2.0 as a Pyramid Scheme of Information. Everyone has to keep supplying information to feed the information monster - and everyone stays happy. So if you're the kind of pansy who spends a couple of hours a day on the web, this isn't for you. The minimum requirement is somewhere around eight hours per day - and a couple of pages of information. And no: that doesn't include the pictures.

Let's cover the categories of web information and how they look on Web 2.0.

News - The bad news is that you have to write the news yourself. But I guess that's the good news, too. Since you're the reporter, you get to decide what the news is - and what's the truth. On Web 2.0, the truth is easy to find: It's the link with the most votes. The truth is what we choose to believe, which, I guess is kind of like in the real world, except for the lack of brainwashing.

Entertainment - Spare me the jokes about "entertaining yourself" (and save them for the next paragraph). But on Web 2.0, we don't sit back and let the mass media entertain us: We write our own jokes. Sure, they may not be as funny, but they're genuine and from the heart. Do you know those badly drawn, unfunny MS-Paint webcomics? Well, multiply that by two and extend that to all forms of entertainment, and you've got entertainment Web 2.0 style.

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Pr0n - Well, judging from my mailbox, this is what you guys really want to know: "What is pr0n like on Web 2.0?" That one should be easy to answer. As I wrote above, Web 2.0 is about contributing and giving something back to the people. If grainy amateur- and webcam-pr0n - not to mention exposing yourself - are your thing, then you should feel right at home. The rest of you should seriously stay back, or at least keep a web 1.0-enabled installation handy as an exit strategy, should the web of the people become too much for you.

That concludes our examination of Web 2.0. I hope to see some of you out there some day. But as I've said, I doubt that most of you have got what it takes to make the jump yet. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the web you know. With any luck, most of the advancements of Web 2.0 are bound to trickle down to Web 1.0 in a patch at some point.

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