Web 3.0…

Heard that term recently anywhere? You would have, unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past decade.Kidding of course, but on a serious note, this is THE buzz word now and if you have the wish to survive the next 20 years without a glitch, you better read this article. Let’s get to the point, shall we?

To define Web 3.0, well, there haven’t been any pin pointing definitions declared for this, since Web 3.0 is still on its way. But when you get to know the definition, you would have already felt the impact of Web 3.0. Therefore in order to understand what the big deal is about, we need to go through its predecessors, Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.

Then what is Web 1.0?

As you may have obviously guessed, Web 1.0 is the name we gave to the first stage of World Wide Web. An era where most of the users were merely observers and very few dared create content in WWW. In short, Web 1.0 is the most primal version of WWW filled with static web pages with loads and loads of information.  The privileges we enjoy now-a-days, as commenting or liking a web page were out of the question then. Interaction with the pages was unavailable and the speed was maddeningly slow. The pages were composed majorly of GIF buttons and graphics to promote software products. These were once the saviors of netizens, but now they remain as the ghosts of the past.

E.g:

NetScape Navigator

These not-so-awesome features led way to the Web 2.0, which is something we all would have experienced, because it’s more or less the present web.

Web 2.0?

The transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 was a great one, considering all the changes it had to go through. This term started surfacing around 2004 and we have come a long way from that. Needless to say, Internet is much faster than before and we all know how all the websites today are. The users went from observers to participants. More and more blogs started emerging at the beginning of the era of Web 2.0 and the content became interactive enough to comment, like, share and whatever you could possibly think of. This gave birth to social media like YouTube, Wikipedia, Flickr, Facebook etc. Unlike web 1.0, the content of any site required the equal involvement of Developers, designers and administrators to create a site worthy of visiting. According to “Terry Flew”, the striking differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 can be expressed as,

Move from personal websites to blogs and blog site aggregation, from publishing to participation, from web content as the outcome of large up-front investment to an ongoing and interactive process, and from content management systems to links based on “tagging” website content using keywords.

The major features of Web 2.0

  • Presence of tags, ratings and comments and posts consisting of text, videos and photos.
  • Ability to create connections between users through groups, subscriptions, friends, members etc.
  • Presence of prominent pages containing profiles, and information about personal favorites and interests.

Since Social media entered the equation, too much of private information has started floating around the cyber space. We have already sacrificed our privacy, in return for the technological advancements of this world. Web 2.0, though it has proven itself so far the best, it has cost our security and privacy. This is where we see Web 3.0.

Finally Web 3.0!

Recently there has been quite the buzz around the Blockchain technology and Crypto-currency. Therefore undeniably, Blockchain has a special place in Web 3.0. Other than that, Artificial Intelligence and 3D graphics can be expected to modify the current system smarter and more humane. The prominent features of Web 3.0 will give you an idea about what it is. They are Intelligence, Personalization, Virtualization , interoperability and most importantly Security.

Intelligence

This is to mean the creation of web which utilizes Artificial Intelligence to analyze more like a human mind. Think of the Google Translate re-imagined with AI? That’s something to look forward to.

Personalization

Personal preferences will be considered throughout any activities performed on web. The technology Semantic web might play a part in this. For Semantic web, understanding and the real meaning are the key features. When searching, instead of matching the keywords or numbers, the information should be retrieved based on the content. With this concept, the web should be customized to individual preferences and the data retrieved should depend on that.

Virtualization

In the availability of high speed internet bandwidth and high end 3D graphics, whole virtual environments are possible. Visiting virtual stores and buying off stuff from shelves might become a routine activity in future. A very popular  example of virtual 3D environment is the game Second Life.

Interoperability

This term simply means the compatibility of systems with each other when it comes to exchanging data and interpreting the shared data. The apps of Web 3.0 would be able to independently run on almost every kind of Computers, Mobiles, TVs, etc. and can exchange data among them without any complications.

Security

Privacy, something we traded off with Web 2.0, should be back in the user’s hands as it should be. This can be achieved through the well-known Blockchain technology, which acts as decentralized, public ledger with records of data stored as blocks. These blocks are linked together to form an unbreakable chain, hence called Blockchain. This data structure is now creating a ripple of wonder for its fail proof system. With this structure, no 3rd party can control the system, while all the users have access to the specified data. This approach has taken the term Trust into another level, which is to mean this is a trust-less but transparent system. Its principle features advantages include,

  • No central point of control
Data is fully encrypted and no 3rd party influence is allowed. No one including “the government” can control the data belonging to others.
  • More secure

Since the data is decentralized and distributed, hacking the Blockchain will be something that requires a lot more than a genius mind and a computer. So let’s say it’s almost impossible to hack into the system.

  • Wide access
ANYONE can create an address and become a part of the system. Absolutely no restrictions!
  • No failure!

 As mentioned earlier, failure in this system is out of the window.

Sounds dreamy, right? But this is going to lead the future. Who knows? In near future, each of us might be sporting Crypto-currency wallets and gushing over the new internet called Blockchain. May be in upcoming years some of the apps and software we currently covet might go through some serious trade-offs with Dapps(Decentralized apps)—those leverage on the Blockchain technology, like

  1. Skype—> Experty
  2. WhatsApp—> Status
  3. Google Drive—>Storj
  4. Facebook—>Akasha
  5. Chrome—>Brave

These features together define Web 3.0, and yes, still no perfect definition. The only capabilities we have in knowing the future is by observing the present and predicting the future. . The above mentioned technologies and concepts may become true or remain as they are now. The transition to Web 3.0 is happening now and we are a part of it. Let’s hope the Web 3.0 doesn’t make the current situation worse!

Sources

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284114717_Web_30_in_Education_Research

http://web2.research.att.com/export/sites/att_labs/people/Krishnamurthy_Balachander/papers/web1v2.pdf

http://www.ijcte.org/papers/503-G1326.pdf