Web 3.0

I have blogged previously about my dislike for the term Web 2.0 so you’ll have to forgive my hypocrisy for using a similar term for this post.

If I dislike these terms why am I using them? Well, if you get past all the hype you are left with terminology which is useful in driving debate and quantifying where the web is and where the web is going in the future. Most of the people who I am writing this post for will know instantly what I mean when I say web 2.0 and can probably see where I’m going when I use the term web 3.0.

Web 2.0 is all about social networking, user generated content, collaboration and mashups, or alternatively to quote Tim Bernes-Lee (Inventor of the web) a “piece of jargon”. Web 2.0 is a transfer of power to the end user – you have more control over what content you see, how you see it, who you share it with and how you can manipulate it.

So where does web 3.0 take us? Well there seems to be a couple of strands of thought for this, they are: the immersive web and the semantic web.

The immersive web will allow you to enter a multi dimensional environment, virtual words. The semantic web will join up the infinite pieces of information available and draw connections between them. Natural language search is one possible application, and is already being developed at powerset.com.

The next challenge then is to think of more useful applications, beyond that of the marketers and advertisers.

However, I’m still struggling to see the complete usefulness of Web 2.0, how many people actually know how to customise Firefox or what RSS stands for, let alone how to use it? The future of anything is in its longevity, remember friends reunited? Apparently 80% of people on Twitter are sheep, merely following not posting, how long before the 20% become tired? Of course, I hasten to add that I’m still a user of both Facebook and twitter and of course blog reasonably regularly.

Web 3.0! Maybe we’ve still got a bit of way to go on Web 2.0 and were trying to run before we can walk.