Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Internet Turns 3

The first years of the World Wide Web were awkward. People were more excited to show off their "under construction" animations than to add real content. Pages were static pieces to be read, bookmarked, and read again later. Unappealing GeoCities sites (remember those?) dominated the social scene. This period was dubbed "Web 1.0," well after the fact.

Now in its adolescence, the Web is a social community. Users are encouraged to post their pictures, videos, and thoughts on a variety of modifiable sites. This is Web 2.0, the biggest buzzword in the industry. A site is "Web 2.0" if it is able to be edited by its readers as well as its authors. Web 2.0 also has a distinct aesthetic style, full of gradients, round corners, and large sans-serif fonts.

What will Web 3.0 look like? If we are to follow the analogy between the age of a growing kid and the age of the Internet, Web 3.0 will arrive at the time when most of us have to finally enter the real world and get a job. Does this mean no more playing around with media clips? Not quite yet. Stephen Braker proposes that Web 3.0 will be, among other things, "always on" and "cheaper." (source) I agree with this, and can elaborate on it.

Look at Google. They're expanding to offer a range of programs that replace traditional software applications, and these web-offered solutions will be always available to anybody with an Internet connection. Web 3.0 will be taking on the responsibilities of non-Web tasks; essentially, the Internet has finally gotten a job, and it's the job of our old software. This won't stop at Microsoft Office-like programs; the Internet will also pick up the job of the TV networks. Popular network shows are already available to watch for free on certain sites, and this idea will only gain steam as internet connections get faster.

What won't Web 3.0 do? Web 3.0 is not going to be the backend to the Jetsons home we've been anticipating. Our refrigerators will not order milk from the supermarket when someone puts an empty carton back on the shelf. Web 3.0 will not babysit your sleeping infant. Web 3.0 will not dropkick your geography teacher out of the classroom. The time of the flying car is still off in the future.

So what's the story? Web developers are working on Internet applications that will slowly bring your computing experience from the hard drive in your desktop to web site interfaces everywhere. Creative implementations that retain the familiarity of Word and Excel, but gain the efficiency of the Internet, will be the ones that capture the market and lead businesses into the future. Start your engines.


At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Kevin Hainline said...

Ah, creative buzzwords that basically mean: "one or two websites started doing something and people were like 'oh cool' and then copied ENDLESSLY." Now everything is myspaceflickryoutubin' the heck out of the internet, and what I really hope is that Web 3.0 stays the hell out of my business. I want to go back to an internet where pages load color by color, like they did with Prodigy. That way, color is used sparingly, and less so.

My motto for Web 3.0: No Friends Lists. No Poking. Few Colors. The Future Was Here, But Then Realized It Was Way Lame So It Left.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Poons said...

Funny Google aarti!!

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proof why Google is God!!


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