Some of us have been familiar with some of the “Web 2.0” concepts for quite a while. By no means are they new at this point. We know how to do mashups. We know how to connect people. We know know how to resurrect great projects from the ashes. We know how to do all kinds of creative things that simply weren't considered ten, five, or even three years ago…
But how do you explain it to outsiders?
Most non-technical people don't get it. They don't contribute to Wikipedia, they've never thought about “monetizing traffic”, they've never contributed to an Open Source project, and most of them couldn't tell you the difference between “free” software they get from a Torrent and “free software” like Firefox. Yes, the concepts are completely irrelevant to 98% of the public out there, but there are still those people in your circle of friends, family, etc that want to understand a bit better.
Towards the goal of explaining it, I share this gem of a video:
For further discussion and perspective, visit the creator's site at Digital Ethnography Working Group.