“People keep asking what Web 3.0 is. I think maybe when you’ve got an overlay of scalable vector graphics – everything rippling and folding and looking misty – onWeb 2.0 and access to a semantic Web integrated across a huge space of data, you’ll have access to an unbelievable data resource …”
—Tim Berners-Lee, 2006
There are many different ideas and variations to what web 3.0 is or could be and what it means.
Before going into to much detail I will give a quick outline to what Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is or seen as being in terms of evolution.
This is where it all began the simple idea of sharing content across the internet via web pages and URLs (Uniform resource locator). A web page is created by a person using HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and shared across the internet via a URL. At this stage of the web all the content was updated by a Webmaster and the reader could not contribute to the content of the web page, Thus making it a static web page.
This is the evolution of the social web. More people became involved and it wasn’t just for web masters. Sites were built so people could interact with the content leave comments and add information. The user became the source of data and input the content, sharing and socialising on a global scale instantly. This is user generated content on social networking sites blogs and wikis.
Web 3.0 – The Semantic Web
The Semantic web or Web 3.0 Is a web of data and databases that can be processed directly and indirectly by machines. Semantic web stacks build on the W3Cs Resource Descriptive framework (RDF). This is a set of standards and specifications which will be used to describe the content from a web page or resource.
What this means is that we will be able to have computers search and respond on a more human like basis.
For example: You need to get a train home from London to Reading and you want to see a film and have dinner when you get to Reading.
You could search “Next train from London to Reading in time to see Lincoln at the cinema and is there a good Italian restaurant nearby?”
To find this information now you would need multiple searches with lots of different terms. With a Semantic web you could do 1 maybe 2 searches and have all the information given to you in a logical easy to understand order.
An example of this logical information search is already here. Not to long ago a super computer named Watson became a champion on Jeopardy. Faced with questioned from the quiz show, Watson, developed by IBM, would search its extensive data base of information and form a logical answers based on the information in the question no matter how difficult.
For this to work across the internet it would require all the web standards to be adhered to for the information to be indexed correctly and searchable.
This could make apps like Siri and S Voice like having a real personal assistant, being able to ask it anything and get real answers, instead of “I don’t have the answer to that, would you like to search the internet”. I have found these apps a bit of a disappointment, If i didn’t want you to find the answer i wouldn’t have asked, so yes search the bloody internet!
Berners-Lee’s vision has always been the same and that is information sharing and the Semantic web or Web 3.0 or what ever you want to call it. This is just the next step in achieving this.