What the hell is Web 3.0?

So we all have heard about Web 2.0, but what’s this 3.0 jargon?

Web 3.0 is simply the next “revision” of the internet. But before we jump into that, let’s review what Web 2.0 really “is.”

First off, Web 2.0 is a marketing term, not a technical term. Web 2.0 refers to the change in the way people use the internet. It was coined around 2005 to distinguish a new trend in web development – social media.

A Web 2.0 web site allows users to interact and collaborate with each other via social media, in contrast to websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them (Web 1.0). Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups and folksonomies.

With more devices than ever getting plugged into the internet, it’s not long before our carton of milk sends us an email notification reminding us it’s almost empty.

Web 3.0 will take the best and brightest ideas of Web 2.0 and add to them geo-social and augmented reality components to give us things like 4square & Layar. Web 3.0 will represent a massive shift from disconnected computers, tablets & phones to connected & integrated smart systems that store & collaborate their data in the cloud (yes, it’s coming whether you like it or not).

It’s All About You

According to some Internet experts Web 3.0 will allow the user to sit back and let the Internet do all of the work for them. Rather than having search engines gear towards your keywords, the search engines will gear towards the user. Keywords will be searched based on your culture, region, and jargon. For example, when going on a vacation you have to do separate searches for your airline ticket, your hotel reservations, and your car rental. With Web 3.0 you will be able to do all of this in one simple search. The search engine will present the results in a comparative and easily navigated way to the user.

A Web 3.0 search engine could find not only the keywords in your search, but also interpret the context of your request. It would return relevant results and suggest other content related to your search terms. In our vacation example, if you typed “tropical vacation destinations under $3,000” as a search request, the Web 3.0 browser might include a list of fun activities or great restaurants related to the search results. It would treat the entire Internet as a massive database of information available for any query. It will be completely personalized to you.

Here’s the quick and skinny:

Web 1.0 (1995 – 2003) – That Geocities & Hotmail era was all about read-only content and static HTML websites. People preferred navigating the web through link directories of Yahoo! and dmoz. Your website is basically “an online brochure.”Web 2.0 (2004 – 2011) – This is about user-generated content and the read-write web. People are consuming as well as contributing information through blogs or sites like Flickr, YouTube, Digg, etc. The line dividing a consumer and content publisher is increasingly getting blurred in the Web 2.0 era.

Web 3.0 (2011 – ?? ) – This will be about semantic web (or the meaning of data), personalization (e.g. iGoogle), intelligent search and behavioral advertising among other things.

Check out this short video about Web 3.0:

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