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Who needs Web 2.0?

I found this fascinating quote today:

I’ve given a few talks on why these new tools are failing to catch on — here’s an early one given at a publishers meeting, and a later one given to an audience of scientists.  The short answer, if you don’t want to read my lengthy posts, is that very few, if any of the new online scholarly tools give benefits that outweigh the costs in time and effort.  Web 2.0 is all about huge timesinks, and so far, the tools aren’t justifying the effort they require.  Our readers are busy people — I’ve never met a single successful scientist with extra time on his hands.  They don’t want to spend huge chunks of their week filtering information or chatting online with strangers. I am at heart a technophile, and I love playing with these new tools, and I’ll let you know when I find useful ones like GoPubMed, and I’ll poke holes in others, like online reference managers.David Crotty under, The Scholarly Kitchen

…And what this says to me is that, while the epublishing tools are growing in breadth and complexity faster than any single human can monitor, for now, they are not really necessary to our work.  The current generation of scientists and thinkers, all of us relative newcomers to the Web, is spoiled by rich and ready access to a fertile thought environment that spans the tangible and the virtual, the old and the new — living, breathing colleagues, printed literature, terrestrial lab/classroom spaces,plus the new web tools. No wonder those new web tools seem superfluous! But if and when any of the first three categories of communication become unavailable to us for whatever reason–colleagues retiring, libraries closing, publishers going out of business, political upheavals making travel unreasonable — then web tools may become indispensable, may supplant our familiar terrestrial forms of communication, and then we will likely see rapid adoption of said tools, or other forms of species adaptation.

You should read the whole article.

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