As the internet has matured we have been introduced to terms such as Web 1.0, Web 2.0 Web 3.0 and Web 4.0. The question on my mind are these terms just buzz words, a result of clever marketing, or do these terms have true meaning? Let’s for the purpose of this blog post take the stance that these terms have true meaning. In doing so let’s examine the evolution of the web, and the concepts being covered by the above mentioned terms.
At the beginning of the Web we had Web 1.0. According to Jonathan Strickland of “HowStuff Works”and techopedia, Web 1.0 exact definition is up for debate. However, what we do know is that Web 1.0 provided static web pages with minimal linking and search capabilities.
Web 2.0 is where we firmly find ourselves in today. Web 2.0 is about socialization! People publishing to each other to inform, work and socialize with one another. This included social networks, group workspaces such as communities of practices. In Web 2.0, the websites are more responsive and search technologies improved to enable improved searching and sharing of information. This is detailed by Daniel Nations Web Trends article on About.com and Tim O’Reilly.
In Web 3.0 the focus is on people and how they interact with each other through the web. Web 3.0 moves towards providing intelligence, which includes semantic/natural language search, location awareness and recommendation engines. According to Daniel Nations Web Trends article on About.com we should be entering into Web 3.0 sometime in 2015.
What about, do I dare say… Web 4.0? According to Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd’s article “The Ultra-Intelligent Electronic Agent is Coming”, they mention that the device to leverage Web 4.0 does not yet exist, but the concept does. The concept includes an advance level of intelligence that will not only provide you with information but knowledge that will enable the device to make decisions for you and/or present you with viable options.
Web 3.0 semantic technology concepts are beginning to show up as search mechanisms in commercial products. According to Eric Savitz’s article in Forbes semantic search is being leveraged in Database Management, Drug Discovery, Travel, and Human Capital Management. I believe that the underlyng theme in the evolution of the web will heavy rely on the evolution of the advancement of search and leveraging it to provide knowledge to its users. Whatever, the future looks like for the Web, I am confident that there will be people exploring concepts and developing tools that will deliver the promise that Web 3.0 and Web 4.0 presents.