Something as structured and definite as a dictionary doesn’t seem like it could go very deep in Web 2.0. But of course if you let wikipedia loose on it, you get a connected multi-platform dictionary called Wordnik that not only includes definitions, synonyms, antonyms, word family, and pronunciation, but also shows examples of the word used in social networks such as twitter posts, flickr photos tagged with the word, how many points the word is worth in scrabble, and a bubble chart of how popular the word is and how many times it has been used in various years (I think they get those numbers from media publications from that year? Confirm?).
I did the word “fire” (because I’m watching So You Think You Can Dance and one couple just dances to this amazing song “eyes on fire” by blue foundation …which I’m learning now is from the Twilight soundtrack. Figures) and got a ton of definitions, examples of use in blogs and twitter posts, photos of fire from flickr and learned that I will see this word at least once a day.
I tried a more current word that would have a bigger online present to spice up my results. I did “environmental” and got less definitions but the bubble chart shows some use in the 1940s and 50s and then explodes in 2009. Very cool feature if you’re reporting on when issues peaked.
This seems to be more than a dictionary (because nothing today is mono-functional). it shows where that words is placed in our culture. So much of our culture is presented online (real time and archived from the past) that we now have this ability to place different words in different portions of our history and current life.