Are We Nearing Web 3.0? No Clear Definition, Yet

For whatever reason, it’s very popular to assign labels to the latest versions of the internet. As soon as software developers began to use the web for more social purposes in the early 2000s, they were quick to slap the “Web 2.0” tag onto it all, and it really caught on with the public.

Not all experts, however, agree that these developments represent a significant change at all, mostly because the vision of the web was of a social, collaborative medium from the start. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, referred to the term as a “piece of jargon.” In practice, Web 2.0 contrasts significantly with a 2.0 version of a software program, for example, because that represents specific technological advancements. In the case of the World Wide Web, the exact same technology is being used, albeit with new applications.

Despite these feelings over assigning it a strict label, Web 2.0, developments such as blogs, wikis, streaming media and folksonomies are undoubtedly giving us incredible new ways to share and consume information.

But are we nearing the next step: Web 3.0?

This is where it gets pretty complicated, because Web 3.0 carries a variety of different definitions, some of them rather contradictory.

Some think that Web 3.0 will harness the same power that was introduced in Web 2.0 but mark a return to expert authority. One of the major problems with the Web 2.0 model was that since everyone has the power to voice their opinion, there is a lower incentive for experts to contribute. There are already a variety of projects in progress that would better account for this.

Others think that Web 3.0 will be marked by improved TV capabilities of laptops, tablet computers and even smartphones which will spell the end of television. This is certainly a trend we have already started to see and will undoubtedly continue as we move forward.

Others think that the new algorithms as a result of semantic tagging will represent Web 3.0. No one, however, believes that this will be a quick or simple transition, as implementing these new standards on the entire web will be no easy task.

Overall, since there are still so many unanswered questions, we will simply have to wait and see.

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SWE Staff

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