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Web 2.0 according to Wikipedia: Capturing an organizing vision

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Abstract

Is Web 2.0 more than a buzzword? In recent years, technologists and others have heatedly debated this question, even in Wikipedia, itself an example of Web 2.0. From the perspective of the present study, Web 2.0 may indeed be a buzzword, but more substantially it is also an example of an organizing vision that drives a community's discourse about certain new Information Technology (IT), serving to advance the technology's adoption and diffusion. Every organizing vision has a career that reflects its construction over time, and in the present study we examine Web 2.0's career as captured in its Wikipedia entry over a 5-year period, finding that it falls into three distinct periods termed Germination, Growth, and Maturation. The findings reveal how Wikipedia, as a discourse vehicle, treats new IT and its many buzzwords, and more broadly captures the careers of their organizing visions. Too, they further our understanding of Wikipedia as a new encyclopedic form, providing novel insights into its uses, its community of contributors, and their editing activities, as well as the dynamics of article construction.

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