Friday, February 10, 2006

Versioning the web to "web 3.0" - is it too hasty? Are we done with "web 2.0"?

Digg this article.

I stumbled upon some blogs and articles ( here and here )about "web 3.0" and most funny one being this. Just because we are tired of hearing "web 2.0", we just cannot rev the version of the web! The problem with the web is that such views spread like fire and in no time you have all these guys talking about something that most of us do not understand.

I was then inclined to search more and found that Jeffrey Zeldman in his blog A List Apart had blogged about it as well. Although, the post was very general in nature and did not explain what "web 3.0" meant, but it was interesting that Jeffrey Zeldman wanted to get onto the "web 3.0" bandwagon.

My question was do we even know what "web 3.0" is? Are we done with "web 2.0"? Just because we have a flood of web sites and applications that use some technologies (what is web 2.0 by Tim O Reilly) which are branded as "web 2.0 technologies", do you think that we are done with "web 2.0"? What makes us jump a version?

Versioning the web is not same as versioning a product. Over the last decade there has been numerous changes that happened to the web but only now we have a clear understanding of technologies that differentiate it to be called "web 2.0". The versioning of the web to "web 2.0" made sense with respect to the drastically changed technologies and computing paradigms. The evolution that we have seen happen over the years have finally lead us to a technology mass that we named "web 2.0", and I am really excited about the creativity that has been put forth. Instead of just locking these up in a box, we need to use these technologies and make them better, popular and widely used. Coining a new version label will get people confused and make them move away from these so called "web 2.0 technologies" for a newer version which I think is not even defined as yet. Before we even think about jumping a version, we need to ask ourselves - what are goals and differenciating traits about the next version? Let's not hurry it, let it evolve...

Some of my thoughts on things that might be traits for "web 3.0":

1) Standardization and Conformance: We need to come together as a community and embrace the notion of standardization of technology. Yes, we do have standards today, but are we always conformant? If we all conform, we will truly be a community that can "talk" to each other. When can we make technology so standard and common that it will be like a car? Cars come in all sizes, shapes and brands, yet each one of us know how to drive any car.

2) Online Connectivity - Anytime, Anywhere, Always: We have gone from wired to wireless, and slowing moving on to the "hotspots". But, we have to do better. Hotspots are not enough - internet should be available Anytime, Anywhere, Always.

3) Security - Uncertainity around being secure on the internet is one of the reasons that people are not participating in critical online transactions. Just because you and me shop on Amazon, does not mean that we are ready to perform any critical transactions over the open web. All the critical transactions happen inside corporate firewalls and restricted zones, but then not the whole community can interact.

4) Media & Entertainment - The advent of podcasting and video casting has brought in new paradigms. The only problem is that we have different formats and mediums to get to all these. The upsurge of media servers, media centers, media center appliances and movies on demand services is building momentum and very soon I am hoping to have a common experience. Today, I have to use TiVO or Media Center or a homebrewed PVR system to see my recorded TV programs, iPod to hear/view my podcasts/videocasts sync'd with iTunes, store/view photos from Kodak Photo Gallery or Flickr... the list goes on and on...

I am looking at the next version of the web to be huge, a revolutionary change. I think we should give it time to evolve naturally... What do you think? You can digg the article and post your comments.

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