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Topic: Uses of the Read/Write Web on our Culture

Read/Write Web Effects on Culture
The Internet is no longer a place where we go to simply research information. In the past few years the tools available through the Internet have expanded exponentially. We are still able to go to the Internet to research a topic but now we are also able to also easily write our own information on a topic thanks to outlets such as wikis and social media. Our culture has been affected by these expansions of the Internet in many ways. Not too long ago we may have only received news from our local news paper. Now we can not only access hundreds of news websites, but we can also comment on the story and hear from others who comment as well. Missing school may have meant that a student needed to call a homework hotline for information. Today a student could read their class blog and then get input from classmates or teachers through discussions. The impact of Read/Write web cannot simply be summed up in one paragraph so please explore our page to learn more about how our culture has been evolving.

Effects on Business Culture
Business culture has changed drastically as a direct result of the read/write web and our ability to communicate and learn through avenues like blogs, wikis, and online discussion boards. Even large corporations like Forbes Magazine are writing articles about how businesses both large and small are changing due to their ability to have a strong online presence. Because businesses are now selling items online, receiving customers reviews in an online text format, and advertising their products digitally, online business culture has changed from the traditional brick-and-mortar style to a web-based venture that can access people living all around the world in many varied and interesting ways.

Amazon is the perfect example of the change in corporate culture in this internet age. Corporate business and small businesses alike are taking advantage of this read/write web culture and are maximizing their profits in the process. Our entire view on how we can access a business and the goods and services they sell has changed. We no longer venture out on the weekends to shop around and make our purchases - everything is at our fingertips online! We no longer have to call our friends and family members to see what businesses or products they recommend - reviews and apps do all of that for us! For example, websites and applications like Yelp! have transformed the way that we as consumers access reviews and make decisions about what we want to purchase. How Yelp! has affected the restaurant industry is profound, and many other business industries are being affected by this sensation as well. In addition to reviews, information about businesses is available on the read/write web in the form of Wikis and blog posts as well. A quick Google search for many companies, goods, or services turns up a Wiki page, blog, or review that provides consumers with information, and is quickly becoming the "go-to" for quick and reliable information on any business or industry in modern times.

Effects on Conducting Research in our Culture
Conducting research has changed drastically in the last fifteen years. No longer is the local library the primary location for research. Just think, where would you start first when conducting research? Most of us would now answer the Internet. Because of websites like Wikipedia and Google answers to simple questions can be answered within seconds. Are you having trouble remembering the name of your favorite book, just “google it”. Although Google and Wikipedia are great examples of read/write web culture and perfect sources for quick answers, the question becomes are they reliable for scholarly research?

There are many specific sites dedicated to scholarly research. People are able to utilize websites, like Google Scholar or JSTOR. These are digital libraries of academic journals, books, and primary sources. With these types of websites, the Internet has changed the way we conduct scholarly research. Geographical and prejudicial barriers with research are being eliminated with the use of the Internet (Harris & Dersch, 1999). The focus is on the content of the material that is provided, rather than who wrote it, and it is easily accessible at anytime.

Not only is conducting research much quicker and easier, but citing sources is made simpler by websites like Citation Machine. Citation machine will create a citation after a student chooses the type of citation (MLA, APA, etc.) and inputs the important information. This saves a lot of time and brain power in the research process. Can you imagine having to go back to doing research the old fashion way? Searching through books and creating citations would seem to take forever after living in our current digital world.

Effects on Creativity in our Culture
Creativity can be demonstrated in so many ways and today's technology enhances and expands the opportunities. When someone wanted to express themselves 20 years ago they could write in a journal for themselves, or a limited number of individuals around them, to read. Today you can share your thoughts with thousands of people in a matter of minutes. Artwork can be posted to Instagram. Songs can be shared through youtube. Thoughts can be posed on a blog. You can express a whole new version of yourself to the world in ways one may have never thought possible.
At the same time, the read/write web is a place you can go to obtain information from anyone around the world. At one time if you were interested in the French culture you could go to the library and check out a book. Today you can simply visit Wikipedia, type "France" and a wealth of knowledge is presented at your fingertips. From there you can navigate to twitter and type "#Europe" to see all posts that include that hashtag. You can then navigate to Facebook to see how your friend is celebrating the holiday because she now resides in Brazil and is living life slightly differently than you are.
The ways that we express ourselves and learn about each other is seemingly endless with today's tools. We are able to share our work and be encouraged and unfortunately discouraged from someone half way around the world. The way that I find information may be different than the way you find information. The way that I express myself may be a way you never thought of. The read/write web has not only created a whole other way for our culture to be creative, it is a creative culture in and of itself.

Summary: Read/Write Web Effects on Culture
The new digital culture we live in has effected how we approach business, conduct research, and demonstrate creativity. Websites like Amazon and Yelp! have changed the way businesses promote and manage their products. In the same sense, Wikipedia and Google have changed the way we conduct research. Searching for information and citing that information is much quicker and easier than it has ever been. The read/write web movement has allowed sites like Wikipedia to not only be a source of information, but also one of collaboration and creativity. Along with Wikipedia, sites such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and personal blogs allow for ultimate creativity. Personal expression and creativity has exploded with the read/write web movement and continues to expand. Whether it is taking creative liberties, or running a business, or conducting research, the resources are endless and at our fingertips in a matter of seconds.

Additional Links/Resources:

How to Start a Blog
The Basics of Wikis
Criteria to Evaluate the Credibility of Digital Sources
The Best Online Research Apps/Sites You've Never Heard Of
Social Media Today
Possible Negative Effects of the Read/Write Web on Culture (additional page)


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Yelp. (2016). Retrieved March 23, 2016, from http://www.yelp.com/