The previous post by Jacop "The Truth According to Wikipedia", has been a great start to stimulate the conversation about the Web's impact on our society.
The main points can be summed up in a couple of questions: is the Web2.0 good or bad? What all this Web2.0 websites are really made of? Is Wikipedia reliable? and the Jacob gave us a some cool "additional material". Two documentaries (one on Wikipedia, one on Google) and the book of Andrew Keen, "The Cult of the Amateur".
It' s no easy task to say what the Web2.0 is really about and it's impossible o objectively judge if it's good or bad, so I can only express my point of view.
First: the importance of the Web2.0 is paramout since it enables a worldwide conversation with no precedent in the history. The technology standing behind the Web2.0 really changed the way we learn, we interact, we share, we show, we communicate and so on. Than of course technology can serve any use. I am sure the problem is the use we make with that technology, rather than in general "the Web2.0" and, personally, I am not seeing many people making an insane use of that technology. There are some, of course, but it's a small share.
About 600 years ago, printing (paper) was a real cool technology. But now we wouldn't blame printing because, for example, someone made a bad use of that technology and now there are porn magazines; the same techonology can be used to print school textbooks and Playboy. Is this enough to say printing
Today I do see Internet in the same way. Maybe there can be some dark little corners, but I think the overall result of "participatory sites like MySpace, Wikipedia and YouTube, which emphasize user-generated content, social networking and interactive sharing" is positive.
It's interesting that both the videos posted by Jacop are YouTube videos. I see YouTube as printing. You can use it and find a lot of bad material, but at the same time you can see great thinkers sharing their work with us. You can see author@googles (one of the channel i am subscribed to), lessons by Stanford of MIT professors, the last lesson by Randy Pausch, or access anytime historical videos and images.
I have no doubt that each of us visit Wikipedia at leat once a week. It may have some mistakes, but it' s drammaticaly rich and was design to be a starting point when we look for something. It doesn't want to be complete . For sure if you want some more information you can check other sources (but most of the times I am satisfied with what I found).
IDon' t hesistate to post about your ideas, experience and point of view...