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SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2016
Web 2.0 - many have heard of it, and many web developers (such as myself) cringe upon it's mention. This blanket term that covers many different technologies - and even design elements - has ambiguously described the past 4 or 5 years of the web (I leave it to you to really decide when it happened).

Before we talk about Web 3.0, or define Web2.0, let's talk about Web 1.0. In fact, let's start with Web 0.5 Beta. Because these terms have not been - to my knowledge - really ever used, I'm free to define them however I see fit.

My first encounter with the Web, was around 1994/1995. That was very much a Beta release of the internet. I remember starting at Yahoo! - at the time a very barebones search engine - and started to search. Naturally, the first thing I searched for was games. And I started downloaded some demo of a bizarre Dragon game. Without going into too much detail, my experience was basically nothing short of an early Beta release of any Software application: Slow, somewhat quirky, huge potential for something - but what that would be was undetermined. There were the people getting much use out of it, emailing, joining mailing lists, being a part of newsgroups. Back then the internet was something very much like an encycolpedia, and mostly reserved for insiders - it was the sharing of information - either educational or humerous. It was like the Beta release of version of Linux that you somehow stumble upon, that has a very loyal userbase who are able to do a lot with it, but you are left feeling that you'll need to wait a little longer.

Web1.0 were, and will always be the good old days. They were the pre-spam days, pre-advertisement days (roughly). It was like the 50s (or what I imagine the 50s were like) - an innocent time when people were excited at the prospects of new technology, somewhat frightened by the power it had, and were not worried about stretching beyond its capabilities. Those days everyone tried everything they could with the internet. Those days, the internet started with a bizarre, random-sounding theme-song that lasted 30-seconds as your computer dialed-up. People started making their own web-pages (what would today be considered a blog). Animated gifs were all the rage (today, that would be YouTube), as well as embedding midis on your site (because those days, no one was playing an mp3 on their media players). Those days, much like today, started with the search engines. Today most people just use one - Google. Those days, everyone had their pick, and they were discussed in the same way people discuss and argue about their favorite sport teams. Yahoo!, Excite, Lycos, AltaVista. Those were the good old days when lives weren't ruled by the internet, and when people signed off from the internet, or otherwise face huge bills... or just not get any phone calls.

I can't jump to Web2.0 just yet. There was an important time between Web2.0 and Web1.0, which I'll call Web1.5, and this was a defining moment. This was when ICQ/AIM was introduced, chatrooms were quite popular, and Free was introduced to the internet. What was Free? Free was some form of internet service that came with the catch of being flooded with banners or email spam. Geocities, MaxPages, Lycos and many others offered Free server space, for people - anyone - to host their site. This caused a massive boom in the number of personal pages. This was the baby-boom of the internet, only with dancing hamsters. Many dancing hamsters. Free was the introduction of Hotmail, Yahoo mail, your own web-based personal email. Some thought it really ended there. But Free was so much more. Free even became free internet - a free connection to the internet, as long as you downloaded a piece of software that displayed banners on your computer. Free was free.com, a site where you can find anything from free posters, free coffee mugs, to free spectrascopes (from Stanford University, no less) - all of which I received. More and more started using instant messaging, and eventually ICQ lost its stronghold to MSN, which did not burden people with extremely long ICQ numbers, but used email accounts instead. Flash and Shockwave were becoming increasingly popular, and overpowering the heavy Java Applets. Cable/DSL were starting to become a little more common, though most still connected with dialup. Web1.5 was the Renaissance, and just as perspective was pivotal to the Renaissance period, there was one aspect that defined Web1.5. Lens Flares.

Web2.0 is where we find ourselves now. Though, to be honest, if this were truly an accurate account of the internet, there would be a Web1.89a, Web1.9, Web2.0 Alpha, Web2.0 Beta, etc.

Web2.0 means a lot of things. For one, it means AJAX. Consider this the resurrection of Javascript. Web2.0 means Google. Web2.0 means communities and sharing (though this has always been the central pillar of the internet). Web2.0 means logos having a fading reflecting beneath them. Web2.0 means streaming video, streaming audio. Web 2.0 means lowercase. Web2.0 means wiki. Most importantly Web2.0 was the definitive moment in which the internet and computers were no longer for geeks. Web1.5 was a transitional moment, but by Web2.0, not having any form of internet access spoke negatively about you. And of course, all of Web2.0 came about because cable/DSL connections became cheaper, and the better option to dial-up (though I do miss the dial-up noises). Web2.0 is the modern era. Doing everything possible with the internet, to the point that there are no new ideas. In trying to acheive abstract ideas (see YTMND) the realm of possibles becomes increasingly smaller, as does the realm of original ideas. As does the availability of .coms

And if Web2.0 was modernism, that only leads me to believe that Web3.0 will be the post-modernist era. The combination of modernism. The putting-together of everything we've learned up until now. In fact, Web3.0, in my mind will only be able to be defined as combination, as all that will be and can be done with the internet will have been done with Web2.0 (barring major technological break throughs such as 3D monitors, and emailing matter). Web3.0 will be original, but it will be a composite of what was done in Web2.0. Some are saying that the Web3.0 will go beyond searching webpages, but will go beyond that, strengthening the ever-strong main pillar of the internet: the sharing of information. The Web3.0, also called the semantic web, search engine is thought to be search engines like Powerset1. Very generally, the idea being that a search string will no longer provide you with individual webpages containing your search string. Instead, you will be provided with a single composite webpage that details the information of your search string, all on a single page. All the information, from all the sources, provided in a single resource.

But the internet isn't just search, though it may start there. The internet has become communities - notice the plural. Web3.0 will perhaps eliminate the plural, and replace it with the singular. The internet will by a community. No more multiple accounts on many webpages. 1 account, 1 password. This was already attempted a few years ago with Microsoft's Passport, which integrated with .NET websites, and allowed website builders to use Passport's authentication, and allowed users to use their Passport account on 3rd party websites. This idea is reemerging now, with Windows Live, as well as Google's OpenSocial, and Facebook's own desire to bridge beyond it's own domain.

Web3.0 may even go beyond what's contained in the browser. Web3.0 may become the browser itself. Flock is a web-browser that uses the Mozilla engine to render webpages, but goes beyond Firefox and other browsers. Flock allows social networking to occur within the frame of the browser. You can see which sites your friends are on, what article they recently dugg, what videos they are watching on YouTube.

Web3.0 will connect us all, all the time. Let's just hope it'll have a decent privacy policy.
Comments

Alamir

Alamir

You go in a lot of detail..but a lot of it is assumption too.. because the web labels (Web 1.0, Web 2.0 ..etc.) aren't really defined..and you don't really let the reader know you're making assumptions. It's sort of like how artists today have trouble sometimes labeling whether something is "postmodern" or not.

alishahnovin

ALISHAHNOVIN

"Because these terms have not been - to my knowledge - really ever used, I'm free to define them however I see fit."

Anyhow, Web2.0 itself is ambiguous a term. Web3.0 is more ambiguous, and even more loathed by Developers. I thought I'd provide more terms for us to loathe.



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