Web 3.0 - Why the long wait?

Posted by Jitsu
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on Tuesday, 12 June 2007
in Digital Blogs
IT has become clear to me that we are entering the final paradigm of technological evolution before the exponential growth witnessed in the past decades nears a verto-linear crescendo. The jump from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 took the better part of a decade, and then only once people started using available technologies in intuitive ways did the term Web 2.0 materialize. Hence, what makes Web 2.0 inherently different from Web 3.0 is that it is an anticipated architecture, and not a realized one that got a name because things such as this need a name.

Therefore, to prematurely define the form Web 3.0 will ultimately assume is futile. All that can be done is to define a set of foundations that will be used intuitively to offer digital experiences not known to us. Fellow blogger Zircon did some good work in joining the debate on what the foundations of Web 3.0 might be.

Immediately we see that Web 3.0 is being approached proactively rather than the retrospective approach of Web 2.0.
Take for example, AJAX, a "technology" hailed the hero of Web 2.0. Yet, AJAX - Advanced Javascript and XML - is merely a collection of web technologies with their roots in the late 1990s. AJAX was termed after sites began using Javascript and XML together in new ways.

Although, in my opinion, Web 3.0 will have a reasonable sucess based on combining existing web platforms and techniques, the true realization of its potential will lie in using software not yet written, or in its infancy.

One of the many Web 2.5 sites, such as SecondLife.com, follows this approach, utilizing the core Internet communications protocols with a totally new software client. This gives users a 3D virtual world experience, as if in a game, yet, all other characters are other people, and all structures are built by you and these people. What is to stop someone from writing a virtual word processor that pops up in front of you in the Second Life universe, and lets you save, mail, or print what you have written to anywhere. This is Web 3.0!

Another prospective winner in the Web 3.0 race that is popping out its head from behind the cascade of Web 2.0 sites is the idea (what I call) Layout Detached Content. The idea that the web surfer determines how information is presented to them, instead of the information provider. At its extreme, this would translate into a world where the website is no more. And Web Design becomes user driven, with the website owner simply presenting textual, image, video, audio and other information from a database, and the user using defined templates or WYSIWIG interface to layout this info to their own preference.

This would obviously make a huge segment of the design market fall away, or would it? Well, upon careful scrutiny, you will see a movement from designing web sites, to designing web components. A component can be as visually WOW! as the designer wants, but where the component fits on the screen, and how it is referenced will be determined by the user.

This will eliminate the layer between the information consumer and the information provider, which restricts both in "getting the message (across)" because a single person or company "designed" a layout they thought suitable, yet, without considering the vast differences in the way information is used between countries and cultures.

I have to stop now... Next time: Web3.0 - Get ready for the Internet Operating System.
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