There are a number of benefits to the new social interaction seen on the web today:
Advantage 1: Opinion comes from where it should: the everyman.
Before the rise of Web 2.0, there were few channels for editorializing. Newspapers, magazines, broadcast media, and select websites were the limit of expression. Now, with the rise of sites such as YouTube and Blogspot, editorials have ended up as something anyone can create; expression of opinion and insight is more open and universal than ever before. Anyone with internet and either a keyboard, camera, or microphone can make their voice heard. We are seeing the voice of the people expressed in a whole new way. This is illustrated in most interactive communities and is particularly prominent at some: "Healthy competition to discover great stories makes Digg a vibrant source for timely tech news. 'The members get credit for being the first to find stories,' says Jeff Jones, a media consultant, blogger, and avid Digg participant, 'which means that you have over 150,000 editors competing to find the good stuff fast.'"
Advantage 2: Content is, by nature, extremely wide-reaching
Wikipedia is the place to go for articles on obscure fads, movies, music, places, and so on. Wikipedia’s policy is to only feature articles on notable topics (and it has set rules as to what qualifies as notable), yet it still features, as of this writing, four times as many articles in English as Encyclopedia Britannica. Though the accuracy of these articles—and of all interactive content—is open for discussion, there can be little doubt that the more people are involved in a project, the more all-encompassing it will be. Interactivity harnesses this power, sometimes called “crowdsourcing” in the tech world. For more information on the relative accuracy of Wikipedia and Britannica, see this detailed study by Nature, a scientific journal. In short, it found that the two were comparable in accuracy, with Britannica slightly more accurate. You will need to be a subscriber of Nature to read the full study.
Advantage 3: Greater Creativity
YouTube has allowed amateur movie makers to spread their work. This has lead to the famous success of multiple video makers. There are numerous examples of videos “going viral” because of increased interactivity and gaining widespread exposure as a result. What would have, before, been passed over as a strange and unimportant video is now a web sensation. With Web 2.0, no content or art is overlooked. It will find a home, allowing it to flourish and find its place in the world, because, in fact, each person can create or join a place in this new web world. For more on YouTube and similar sites, see our case study section.