Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Web Secret #34: Web 3.0

I spend a significant amount of time writing about and lecturing on the power of Web 2.0. Unsurprisingly, some smart-ass in the audience inevitably asks "What about Web 3.0? What will that be like?"

First of all, if you forgot the definition of Web 2.0, press your internal refresh button by reading my previous post on the subject.

Now back to the subject at hand. For a while, there were mostly incomprehensible definitions of Web 3.0. (Well at least incomprehensible to non-geeks). Take for example, Wikipedia's esoteric entry. Pretty much all I got out of reading this article is that we won't see evidence of Web 3.0 until 2010.

Then one day, I came upon's actually understandable "How Web 3.0 Will Work". Briefly, this is what it says:

Web 2.0: You've decided to go see a movie and grab a bite to eat afterward. You're in the mood for a comedy and some incredibly spicy Mexican food. Booting up your PC, you open a Web browser and head to Google to search for theater, movie and restaurant information. You need to know which movies are playing in the theaters near you, so you spend some time reading short descriptions of each film before making your choice. Also, you want to see which Mexican restaurants are close to each of these theaters. And, you may want to check for customer reviews for the restaurants. In total, you visit half a dozen Web sites before you're ready to head out the door. This may take a while...

Web 3.0: Instead of multiple searches, you type a complex sentence or two in your Web 3.0 browser, and the Web does the rest. For example, you type "I want to see a funny movie and then eat at a good Mexican restaurant. What are my options?" The Web 3.0 browser will analyze your response, search the Internet for all possible answers, and then organize the results for you.

­That's not all. Many experts believe that the Web 3.0 browser will act like a personal assistant. As you search the Web, the browser learns what you are interested in. The more you use the Web, the more your browser learns about you and the less specific you'll need to be with your questions. Eventually you might be able to ask your browser open questions like "where should I go for lunch?" Your browser would consult its records of what you like and dislike, take into account your current location and then suggest a list of restaurants.

Is that cool or what?

1 comment:

  1. Whilst this prediction of web 3.0 (i.e., the semantic web) is probably the most popular, it is important to remeber that it is not the only attribution of the term. Others have decided that the term web 3.0 should be applied to the 3D web/internet, e.g., Second Life.

    Personally I prefer the semantic web usage, although I don't know if I would go down the 'cool or what' avenue. The amount of data organisations will be drawing together from all over the web about you to make these predicitons will be both breath-taking and concerning. People often act differently on different parts of the web, e.g., behaving differently on LinkedIn (professionally) and Facebook (socially), the semantic web will bring many of these identities together...whether you like it or not.