Abstract - The Information Society 27(3)

Questioning the Web 2.0 Discourse: Social Roles, Production, Values and the case of the Human Rights Portal

Hector Postigo

This article will interrogate the notion of Web 2.0. The article understands Web 2.0 through three related conceptual lenses: Web 2.0 as 1) a set of social relations, 2) a mode of production and 3) a set of values. These conceptual framings help in understanding the discursive, technological and social forces that are at play in Web 2.0 architectures. Based on research during a two year period, the second part of this article applies these lenses to the case of the Human Rights Portal, a web portal designed to leverage the participatory knowledge production ethos of Web 2.0 for human rights organizations. This section discusses the design process and the ways in which the discourse of Web 2.0 as parsed through the three lenses above informed this process.

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