Very quickly, and almost invisibly, a new world emerged. And, by this, I mean a virtual world. It was partly due to increasing bandwidth (speed) and new software applications, and that more people were using the Internet to do things together, such as talk to each other and engage in something together. Interaction and conversations are brought about between like-minded people, and between organizations and stakeholders. This is more of an interactive Internet, which we call Web 2.0, or the social Web. In mid-2013, three quarters of the European population is active, in some manner, in social media. Organizations are starting to dangle their feet in it. It’s funny to notice that people who meet virtually end up meeting in person as well. People seek each other out at all kinds of meetups, Tweetups, Twitterazzi pow-wows, open coffees, and other similar offline events. We see new companies who have responded to this by lending support to the proposition that wonders if these meetings might lead to profound relationships. That is quite different from the meat inspections on current dating sites.
Knowmads, the self-enterprising professionals, in particular have an above average need to meet others in person; distances are not so great in Europe. These meetups are taking place on a massive scale. In this way, some of the Knowmads will feel like “colleagues” in the large network-organizations. On our Seats2meet.com events platform in The Netherlands alone, more than 10,000 physical meetings, attended by over half a million people, are being organized annually. Meetings are shared live with the outside world by usage of what we call “second screens,” dashboards that offer live streaming of events on the Web, curate Twitter streams on particular event topics, and more. We call these meetings “3rd Space Events,” and often there are more people from all over the world following these events from a distance than there are actual physical audience numbers inside the meeting room or convention hall.
So, Web 2.0 is mainly about being social, doing things together, with the Internet serving as the connecting information and communication structure.
Being and working together in this way helps us address the questions, “what do I stand for, and what is my place in this world?” This is how the Internet facilitated a new social playing field parallel to the economic crisis. Is this the new paradigm? I prefer to call it cyberdigm, a dynamic paradigm that appeals to people as self-managing and meaningful beings.