General Science, Mathematics, and Technology


What are some examples of user-generated content on the World Wide Web?

Blogs (short for web logs) are akin to modern-day diaries (or logs) of thoughts and activities of the author. In the late 1990s software became available to create blogs using templates therefore making them accessible to a wide audience as a publishing tool. Blogs may be created by single individuals or by groups of contributors. Blog entries are organized in reverse chronological order with the most recent entries being seen first. Entries may include text, audio, images, video, and links to other sites. Blog authors may invite reader feedback via comments, which allows for dialogue between blog authors and readers. However, once posted, blog entries may not be edited.

Wikis, from the Hawaiian word wikiwiki, which means “fast”, are Web pages that allow users to add and edit material in a collaborative fashion. The first wikis were developed in the mid–1990s by Ward Cunningham (1949–) as a way for users to quickly add content to Web pages. The advantage of this software was that the users did not need to know complicated languages to add material to the Web. One of the best known wikis is Wikipedia, an online, collaborative encyclopedia. Although entries to Wikipedia need to come from published sources and be based on fact, rather than the writer’s opinion, there is no overall editorial authority on the site.

Podcasts are broadcast media that may be created by anyone and are available on demand. Unlike traditional broadcast media (radio and television), podcasts are easily created with a microphone, video camera, computer, and connection to the Web. Pod-casting does not require sophisticated recording or transmitting equipment. Most podcasts are broadcast on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly schedule. While traditional broadcast media follow a set schedule, podcasts may be downloaded onto a computer or a portable device such as a MP3 player and listened to whenever it is convenient.


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