In the beginning there was THE INTERNET. Then around 1990 our friends at CERN created the WorldWideWeb. Humans learned to speak hypertext markup language and navigate the hypertext transfer protocol.
With these modern technologies in hand, we created websites that looked like this:
And worse, this:
Then around 2000 we burst our own bubble, climbed into a dark cave and thought about whether this whole web thing was ever really going to work. Luckily we discovered web 2.0, the long tail value of the internet, and Google AdSense. After that everything became sunshine, unicorns, and kitten videos.
According to Wikipedia (the source of all that is indubitable):
Web 2.0 is a concept that takes the network as a platform for information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. A Web 2.0 site allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators (prosumers) of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users (consumers) are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups and folksonomies.
Basically we realized that the web itself has very little inherent value. It is the humans on the web that create value. Participative content was born and loved and sold to Facebook for 1 billion souls.
In the early 2010’s, another interesting phenomenon began to develop on the interwebs. Content-creation comfort levels increased and gradually we became slightly less afraid of putting <carrots> around <words> and adding *stars* and //slashes// and making if and then’s and the world learned that coding isn’t just for nerds anymore (gasp)!
Okay so we’re not actually anywhere close to achieving a world of ubiquitous code-literacy. But a girl can dream, right?
I’ve decided to name my dream web-state “GitWeb” because The Oatmeal was already taken. Also savvy coders use GitHub (profitable and recently pumped up by a healthy capital injection via Andreessen Horowitz) to store, share, and collaborate on code in the cloud.
One of the best sites ever created using GitWeb collaborative coding technologies and forked many times over on GitHub is BarCampNOLA.com. Coded primarily in HTML, the site is the product of more developers and code novices than I can track down. Joe Ellis gets credit for being the primary manager of the site and also created this beautiful presentation for us to ooze over.
Even though the information on the site is relatively web 1.0 and “static” – the code is constantly evolving. New dinosaurs fly out at visitors, snitches started popping up like flies at a picnic, and just recently our old friend Clippy from Microsoft Word showed up to help out.
I’m not saying that every single website should be open to user-generated code. But wouldn’t it be great if when we wanted to see a new feature added somewhere, we could just fork it, code it up, and submit it for review?
See you at BarCamp?
Whether you agree or disagree, I’d like to humbly suggest that you make your way over to barcampnola.com, check out the site, and “rawrgister” on eventbrite for the fifth annual New Orleans BarCamp taking place this Saturday and Sunday at Canal Place.
See you there, GitWeb-ers!
*Note: SiliconBayouNews.com is a sponsor of BarCampNOLA. We don’t get anything out of you going but we thought we should tell you that just in case you’re concerned about our motives. We really just love BarCamp.