Clever video about Web 2.0 and XML

Text in motion.

Kansas State University anthropologist Michael Wesch has created an interesting four and a half minute video titled "Web 2.0... The Machine is Us/ing Us" that is available on YouTube. I I love how his video communicates to the viewer using text, not as captions or titles or as animation, but as text manipulated by a (usually) unseen hand. If you're a fan of text-based art like the work of Jenny Holzer, you'll enjoy it.

I was going to take a screen shot to include here and link it to the YouTube page, but the constant, constant motion of Wesch's video as it throws ideas at you is such a big part of its appeal that no screen shot could do it justice. So, I'm taking my first shot at embedding a video in a weblog entry, since YouTube makes it so easy. Web 2.0 and all that.

(Zippy says: am I mashed up yet?)

The reason I'm writing about it here is that it's the first time I've seen someone push the separation of form from content as a theme of Web 2.0. As an old SGML geek, I certainly won't complain. Maybe developers just take it for granted now that something inside of <title></title> tags has more possibilities for reuse than something inside of <b></b> tags, and this kind of reuse is what drives mashups. Being taken for granted, there's no need to push it as a theme in the general Web x (where x > 1) hype, and it took an anthropologist to notice and highlight the theme's central role.


FWIW, that is only the first published draft; Wesch recently posted the final version. The blurb on that one also includes download links for high-quality versions of the clip.