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Web 3.0 - Cult or Culture?

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In an article for HowStuffWorks Jonathan Strickland addresses his perspective on Web 3.0. He believes in Web 3.0 as a disruptive new technology. Other experts have different opinions what the Web 3.0 is or what it should be. Some think, it might only comprise an evolutionary step, leveraging semantic metainformation.  So is it coming and what exactly is the Web 3.0?

Since the increasing penetration of applications like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr as well as new user-based media like blogs or podcasts, the so-called Web 2.0 has become state of the art. However, Web 2.0 is rapidly reaching its limitations in terms of user experience and personalized content. Web 3.0 presumably will be the next step of the Internet evolution. There is a lot of discussion whether Web 3.0 will be just an realization of Tim Berners-Lee’s idea of a Semantic Web. Although most experts have different anticipations regarding the new Web, at least most of them seem to agree on the traits of Web 3.0:

  • users will enjoy richer user experience,
  • user-specific profiles are supposed to tailor the browsing experience. 

For example, Knowledge@Wharton reports from a panel with Travis Katz, Mitch Kapor, Shannon Berning, and Bryan Sabrian. The panelists agreed that there were too much information in the Web today so that ways are required for filtering out the relevant information. These filtering and search mechanisms, however, need to take the personal profile of the user into account. In addition, the Web could turn into a People Web where the information will more emphasize people and their interactions instead on focusing on the system or infrastructure. ´

In his blog posting called Say Hello to Web 3.0 the author Waqas E. considers seven technologies to be particularly essential for the new incarnation of the Web. The author is not a professional engineer, but reveals some expectations from the user's perspective:

  1. Mobile devices
  2. Ubiquitous connectivity
  3. Mobile internet access with broadband adoption
  4. Open technologies, open data formats
  5. Open identity, open reputation, personal data and roaming portable identity
  6. Intelligent web technologies, semantic techniques like OWL, RDF, SPARQL, SWRL
  7. Intelligent applications, machine reasoning and natural language processing.

For architects and developers, such a Web 3.0 would definitely have a lot of consequences with respect to application development, if they need to leverage all the aforementioned technologies. Probably, mash-ups and APIs will gain importance.

Although some of the experts statements are very concrete, we should not forget that it is very difficult to anticipate the future. Technologies and concepts in the Web tend to be fast moving targets.The Semantic Web is not developed as experts thought a few years ago. Opinions on the concrete shape and function still vary a lot as described in Wikipedia.

For interested readers, there is an interesting video that reveals some aspects of Web 3.0. So, what do you think, should be part of an upcoming Web 3.0?

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