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Generalized Thoughts on Web 3.0

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As a student at the University of Mary Washington I am taking a class called Digital Storytelling.  The class itself deserves a blogpost for how interesting it has proven to be, but one thought has persisted through most of what has been covered.  A question called in to class and later posted on her blog talks about the communication barrier involved with technology.  This point I thought to both be very interesting in what it says about the future of internet based interactions and the evolution of the internet.

The class as a whole has involved questioning how we use technology in an educational sense, though it is impossible to not expand the context

php and MySQL logos

php and MySQL allowed the internet to develop a new relation with the people

and look at is as a comment on¬†technological¬†interaction as a whole. ¬†As we replace, upgrade or give a “digital facelift” to the current set of internet tools used both in education and in every other interest, what could be called the next generation of websites will emerge. ¬†The history of the internet, in America especially with regards to the e-bubble, the internet has evolved to match the increased technological options available. ¬†As tools such as Javascript, PHP scripting, MySQL databases, CSS stylesheets and later more yet more advanced ¬†languages such as AJAX and RubyOnRails have become commonplace the content and style of websites evolved to fill out those new options.

Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 (unknown source, found on many websites)

Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 (unknown source, found on many websites)

As more and more websites initially designed and coded by small groups of people became rich and famous,¬†opportunistic¬†enterprisers promised their websites were an evolution of the earlier versions they often replaced. ¬†They termed the new generation of websites would be the “Web 2.0″ to the older websites “Web 1.0.” ¬†These differences were promised to create “social software” and community based websites that would create a more close knit and social web community. ¬†The more¬†noticeable¬†changes involved gradient overlaid banners, bright pastel colors and stayed in beta for ages. ¬†The more desperate websites would be blunt with their Web 2.0 premise by attaching 2.0 to the site name.

That isn’t to say that Web 2.0 hasn’t¬†fulfilled¬†the expectations set by changing the landscape of web design. ¬†Twitter was a Web 2.0 poster child, as was ¬†Google went all out, buying up websites that fit in every category such as blogger and creating copies of Twitter and Facebook. ¬†Yahoo bought Flickr, which made vowel dropping popular in the Web 2.0 world and Facebook and other Web 2.0 darlings became huge monetary successes.

While Web 2.0 is arguably a large success, many of the larger players involved and many new developers and pointing to the next generation of the web, cleverly titles Web 3.0.  They argue that while Web 2.0 was an improvement in how it made internet social-networking a giant factor in internet interaction a financial boon, the next evolution of the internet would involve a focus more on content and content utilization.

Here is where my longwinded introduction finally meets up with my Digital Storytelling class.  Cheers to those of you who managed to read all of that.  In the class the point of communication barriers involved in web communication made me wonder how the web would evolve.  The class as a whole, like I said, has been very provocative in how it has pictured several parts of internet interaction.  Here, unlike many other problems that have arisen in terms of advancing the internet, this one does not seem to lend itself to a standard solution.  Web 2.0 benefitted hugely from scripting technologies that allowed for data to be presented in a much more instant manner, and was achieved through taking the technology available as far as it could.

Web 3.o’s promise of a “Semantic” web that uses the content¬†available¬†on the internet in a more cohesive way. ¬†The interaction of people involved in the web community would be made much easier and offer new solutions in making content available and expressive. ¬†Here is where the language barrier will become a huge¬†obstacle, significantly limiting the integration and¬†accessibility¬†of that content. ¬†Here is also where the majority of work will need to be done if what is promised of Web 3.0 is to be achieved. ¬†Language does not lend itself to being manipulated through code and programming; it will take a change in the logic and approach used. ¬†As someone who has attempted to use Google Translate to more efficiently move through Spanish and found the results to be no less than hilarious, it is painfully obvious that there will need to be a change in some base characteristic of how the web works.

A Cinematic Classic

They're excited–are you?

Google thought that they could jump the rest of the competition and offer Google Wave, which while never explicitly said by Google, would be the first mass advertised Web 3.0 application.  Google said that email is as old as the Lava Lamp, and therefore cannot take advantage of the advancements made in web architecture.  Instant communication was in, and the ability of take a large group of people and offer an archivable and interactable medium to send information from one party to others.

Google also found out that they might have been ahead of the game, officially ending Google Wave a few months ago. ¬†Here is again where I again raise the question of where the internet will go next. ¬†Something will happen, as the internet has never been stagnant. ¬†What will mark the evolution, will it be the open information revolution or an open source revolution? ¬†And how will Web 3.o attempt to further the internet’s most important function, closing barriers in communication?

I pose this question to anyone reading; what will the next big movement in internet interaction be?  And will it be aimed at improving communication, and if so, how?


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