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What Is Web 3.0?

December 13, 2009

Web 3.0 is the third generation of the web. Although this name exists, a definition for Web 3.0 continues to be somewhat ambiguous. To understand Web 3.0, it is helpful to review its predecessors.

Web 1.0 was the beginning of the web and it mostly involved a collection of static sites and pages. Technical experts were required to create websites and page content.

Web 2.0 is the second (and current) generation of the web. Sites and pages are dynamic, interactive and users can generate, publish and modify content. Technical experts are not required to create sites and content. Applications and plugins are numerous and easy to use. Social networking and mobile connectivity are popular elements of Web 2.0.

Web 3.0 is the next generation of the web and it’s just starting to develop. A definition is fuzzy, but it is possible to anticipate and describe some primary characteristics. Web 3.0 will fully integrate devices and the Internet into personal lives and business. Users will have real time digital access to information and media using natural and multimodal interfaces. Web 3.0 will be open (elimination of walled gardens), intelligent, responsive and adaptive to user preferences and habits. Applications will grow exponentially and cross-platform availability will be the norm. User generated content, collaboration and application development will increase with Web 3.0. Language translation will be automatic, extensive and accurate.

Evolution of the web has also been fueled by a parallel increase in bandwidth. Kilobit – Megabit – Mulitimegabit – Gigabit connectivity has facilitated increased use and exchange of information and data. One of the most beneficial aspects of increased capacity has been video platforms and postings. As broadband capacity increases, so will evolution of the web.

The first substantial taste of Web 3.0 will come during 2010 and critical mass will likely be reached several years later. Companies leading the Web 3.0 pack include Cisco Systems, Apple and Google, Amazon, Automattic. Universities leading the way include Stanford, UC Berkeley and MIT. While the definition of Web 3.0 is subject to debate, many experts already agree it will represent the most dynamic and substantial evolution of technology since invention of the microchip.

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