Web 2.0 is a buzzword for the current stage in the evolution of the Internet, but we might well be entering web 3.0 right now.
You don't have to
be a tech geek to see how fast the Internet is changing. It became popular with
the public barely two decades ago and yet many of its younger users would have
trouble recognizing early websites as part of the same ecosystem. In twenty
years, it is not only web design but also
functionality and usability that have changed beyond recognition. It is fashionable
in the industry circles to talk about web 1.0 and web 2.0 to mark this
transition, but experts are already taking about the emergence of a new stage
in this evolution – web 3.0.
started as an academic project that allowed scientists to publish and hyperlink
articles. It was a major step ahead in comparison to print publications that
took long to produce and distribute. When it broke into the mainstream, for a
couple of years the Internet was little more than a collection
of pages with content. A business model everyone was excited about was
information portals, like Yahoo!, that essentially translated a newspaper into
a digital form. Directories, like Altavista, were another useful device as they
grouped growing online resources into practical categories. What was largely
missing from this new medium was interaction with and between users as well as
their contribution to the Web.
its current stage of evolution the Internet is less of an information portal
and more of a
living 24/7 exchange platform. A range of services, especially blogs and social
networks, give the leading role to communities. They have been designed as
tools for interaction and exchange of information and content. In fact, without
user-generated input, websites such as YouTube, Facebook or Twitter would cease
to exist as the whole dynamics around them is generated by the community.
Attracted by their functionality and other rewards, millions of people spend
their quality time and share personal information there.
There is no other area where the power of online communities is more visible than in Wikipedia, a
user-edited database of collective knowledge that became the most comprehensive, if imperfect, encyclopedia in the world. It is also a great example of how collaborative web 2.0 is. The Internet also relies on people in that tags they leave on content are now used for its classification – so their voice matters more.
Thanks to open APIs
(instructions for accessing web-based applications), some data and functions
from Facebook, Google Maps and hundreds of other tools can be easily shared in
other websites and applications. This creates a much more dynamic, responsive,
real-time ecosystem that offers plentiful opportunities for business.
Where will users go
There are different
visions of the future for the Internet. One likely direction is that as
technical barriers to entry go down, more users will start making not just
their own websites, but also more complex applications. This is sure to trigger
a wave of innovation we can only speculate
for web 3.0 is the semantic web, which uses data to define context of
information and make it more relevant and useful. At a time
when there are tonnes of similar content, users will appreciate technology that
will be more sensitive to their real needs and help filter information