Web 3.0 and Beyond

This post was initially drafted in January, 2013. I stumbled on it in my drafts folder and five years on I think it still offers a good retrospect and today a good summary. From the original version I’ve only added a few links and revised the wording. For today, I’ve Appended a section predicting the attitudes of Web 4.0.

Like it or not I think it (Web 3.0) is right around the corner, within years the new web will be staring right into our eyes and unless we change something about how we work and interact, we won’t be able to look away. What does Web 3.0 mean exactly? Essentially it is the next step of behavior of the internet, this prediction is solely based on the trends of the time. To see why I’m predicting the new nature of this web and what it is exactly a brief history of what we know as “the Web” must be examined.

Web 0.0: “Did you (singular) get that?”

  • Very small communities
  • Most likely you knew a decent subset of everyone on there.

Web 1.0: “Did you (plural) get that?”

  • Scaling and everyday incorporation of email
  • Small scale sharing
  • Internet spreading into ubiquity (eternal September)

Web 2.0: “Did you make that?”

  • User created content
  • The ubiquitous internet
  • Blogging/vlogging
  • Democratic video and music production and consumption

Web 3.0: “Did you see that?”

  • Share everything
  • The ubiquity of (the) social networks.
  • All about you
  • Sometimes indistinguishable from desktop experience
  • The end of privacy. [1]

Web 4.0: “Did you feel that?”

  • Either more empathetic or more tribal and toxic. Everyone is certainly aiming for the former, but social networks need to take a more firm stance towards behavior in the latter category.
  • Emphasis on privacy, the EU has been making the best moves in this direction. Though not always properly, for example the cookie law is a bit misguided, while General Data Protection Regulation is the right one.
  • Emphasis on security, penalizing companies which leak sensitive information need to be penalized more. Again the EU is making the right steps here. This goes beyond securing just private information; with the prevelance of the internet of things, this extends to systems of all sizes.
  • More personal applications. The line where the Web begins and ends blurs on this point, are devices like Alexa and Google Home the Web? This is not to say more personal devices but the nature of applications on our devices will be more focused around us.

  1. This is the only thing I read from the original draft that was hyperbolic. Privacy hasn’t ended, but the way we understand it has changed considerably. Keeping in mind too that this was written before the Snowden leaks in the summer of 2013.