Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Web 3.0 The Third Generation Web is Coming

Timeline and Definition

Web 1.0. Web 1.0 was the first generation of the Web. During this phase the focus was primarily on building the Web, making it accessible, and commercializing it for the first time. Key areas of interest centered on protocols such as HTTP, open standard markup languages such as HTML and XML, Internet access through ISPs, the first Web browsers, Web development platforms and tools, Web-centric software languages such as Java and Javascript, the creation of Web sites, the commercialization of the Web and Web business models, and the growth of key portals on the Web.

Web 2.0. According to the Wikipedia, “Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O’Reilly Media in 2004, refers to a supposed second generation of Internet-based services — such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies — that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users.”

I would also add to this definition another trend that has been a major factor in Web 2.0 — the emergence of the mobile Internet and mobile devices (including camera phones) as a major new platform driving the adoption and growth of the Web, particularly outside of the United States.

Web 3.0. Using the same pattern as the above Wikipedia definition, Web 3.0 could be defined as: “Web 3.0, a phrase coined by John Markoff of the New York Times in 2006, refers to a supposed third generation of Internet-based services that collectively comprise what might be called ‘the intelligent Web’ — such as those using semantic web, microformats, natural language search, data-mining, machine learning, recommendation agents, and artificial intelligence technologies — which emphasize machine-facilitated understanding of information in order to provide a more productive and intuitive user experience.”

Web 3.0 Expanded Definition. I propose expanding the above definition of Web 3.0 to be a bit more inclusive. There are actually several major technology trends that are about to reach a new level of maturity at the same time. The simultaneous maturity of these trends is mutually reinforcing, and collectively they will drive the third-generation Web. From this broader perspective, Web 3.0 might be defined as a third-generation of the Web enabled by the convergence of several key emerging technology trends:

Ubiquitous Connectivity

Broadband adoption
Mobile Internet access
Mobile devices

Network Computing

Software-as-a-service business models
Web services interoperability
Distributed computing (P2P, grid computing, hosted “cloud computing” server farms such as Amazon S3)

Open Technologies

Open APIs and protocols
Open data formats
Open-source software platforms
Open data (Creative Commons, Open Data License, etc.)

Open Identity

Open identity (OpenID)
Open reputation
Portable identity and personal data (for example, the ability to port your user account and search history from one service to another)

The Intelligent Web

Semantic Web technologies (RDF, OWL, SWRL, SPARQL, Semantic application platforms, and statement-based datastores such as triplestores, tuplestores and associative databases)
Distributed databases — or what I call “The World Wide Database” (wide-area distributed database interoperability enabled by Semantic Web technologies)
Intelligent applications (natural language processing, machine learning, machine reasoning, autonomous agents)


Web 3.0 will be more connected, open, and intelligent, with semantic Web technologies, distributed databases, natural language processing, machine learning, machine reasoning, and autonomous agents.


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