I am acutely conscious that the world wide web has evolved continually since its inception. However, it was a recent revelation to me that the various phases of it are now being named! I should not be surprised really because everything to do with software and technology seems to start off with version numbers doesn’t it.
Well if you, like me, were oblivious to these terms then this is how I understand it:
Web 1.0 presumably was the beginning of general internet usage and most significantly the introduction of Google in the late 1990s which radically increased use of the web. Then around 2004 a gentleman called Dale Dougherty came up with the identifying term of Web 2.0 and one thing led to another …
In 2005, the first Web 2.0 Conference was held and this heralded the trend for naming various stages of the evolution of the web. Web 2.0 apparently means any site, service, or technology that promotes sharing and collaboration. This encompasses content management websites (ie WordPress, Joomla), blogs, wikis sites, tags and RSS feeds. It also included social media platforms such as del.icio.us, Flickr, MySpace and YouTube. Effectively, it means the ability to interact across websites, forums and social media platforms as well as using hand held devices to access the internet (ie the mobile phone). No doubt I have missed a few of the developments that come under Web 2.0 but I think you get the idea of that particular phase.
The inevitable evolution of the internet which led to Web 2.0 has now brought us to Web 3.0. New technology is being created and uncovered every minute of every day of our lives in business, learning establishments, and probably in individual homes with up and coming young techies playing around (remember Bill Gates!). This trend will continue eternally and the proactive and positive results will no doubt be appreciated by many of us in years to come.
The term Web 3.0 has been bandied about as early as 2007 when it was a concept but I gather that the reality is now actually here. The “Semantic Web” is a term introduced by the original inventer of the world wide web himself, Tim Berners-Lee. It appears that Web 3.0 and the Semantic Web are one and the same. But what on earth does that mean to you and I? In real terms I take it to mean that our on-line searches will be more fruitful and get us even closer to finding what we are actually looking for – I recall the early searches I used to do when I got a million useless results so that is a welcome improvement. I think it also means that website design layouts have evolved so that we now know what works and what doesn’t. In addition, we realise the importance of great content and keeping sites up to date.
As a direct result of Web 3.0 our browsers will be capable of sifting through our search requests and create more useful search results for us, better designed websites, more targetted and useful content and a wealth of accessible and useful data for the masses. It also means that businesses need to get smarter and slicker with their on-line presence and web marketing strategies and take advantage of the power of video to stay ahead. Unfortunately, good website maintenance is down to the individual website owner and I don’t see Web 3.0 helping us out on that one!