Web 2.0 is overhyped. But someone else is already exagerating a bad meme. Let’s kill off Web 3.0 as a bad idea before it starts.
Humans create information for consumption (ultimately) by humans.
Often ourselves as an individual, and likely within a community of interest (e.g. work – process and product, hobby – model trains, profession – programmers).
My weekly subscription to the Kurzweil Newsletter contained a The Third-Generation Web is Coming article.
Web 3.0, expected to debut in 2007, will be more connected, open, and intelligent, with semantic Web technologies, distributed databases, natural language processing, machine learning, machine reasoning, and autonomous agents.
The marketing engine has taken a hold again.
So who cares about Web 3.0?
For some reason people want to name things. Our use of the internet and the technologies that provide it are evolving.
I find it interesting that after approximately 37 years of the internet (ARPANet in 1968), 16 years of the web (Tim Berners Lee created HTTP in ~ 1990), apparently Web 2.0 in 1994 someone thinks they are improving things by naming the next wave.
I think the naming in retrospect works best .. that is, name something that people have been doing something for a few years. Even Web 2.0 is a little bit too marketing speak for my liking. Basically some technologies have increased interactivity in websites, and everyone got over static content. So the emerging (perhaps even group learning) has led to explosion of social networking sites and collaborative creations (Linux, Wikipedia, Firefox, et all).
So is it Web 2.0 (or 3.0)? – No, it’s just improved information sharing and collaboration
It’s really about pushing information around, and most of the time the information is consumed by people.
The promise of Strong Artificial Intelligence is still a pipe dream. Any semantic information will still only be an summary of the full piece of information. Will the semantic web actually help? What will machines do with this information?
Clay Shirky has a great piece on Ontoligies are Overrated. This is well worth the read, and I think he nails “IT”. Ideas and Memes emerge over time. From the social bookmarking of information side, if enough people from beginner to expert tag an item over time, we will find a pattern that emerges. This may be what terms are used over time (say a few years) but also synonyms or alternative descriptors. (e.g. Apple, Mac, OS X, etc or Firefox, Browser, Browsing, opensource). This collaborative cataloging will most probably be more effective that single individuals creating ontologies that will quickly become outdated or irrelevant. Perhaps machines can use this tagging information to linguistically analyse the content of the original source.
The problem is this kind of buzz flies around blogs too much and too quickly.
The internet and web is about information sharing and transmission. People are forgetting that the “I” in “IT” is Information. That’s what the web is about, making it easier to share.
This promise of a semantic web pops up now and then, but we need to ask – “Who creates the semantic content?” Algorithms, Humans or both? How is it updated and who’s using the information?
Talking about these terms is meaningless. Do you think art periods had artists saying we’re in an impressionist stage, let’s call next year the revisionists? No.
Those who make a difference focus on task and function – Not on what it’s called.