Web 3.0 – The Future of the Internet

What Happened To Web 1.0?

Remember AOL keywords? Almost a decade ago, this was the primary form of online interaction that businesses used to engage in. You see a television commercial – a Ford car, for example – and then a message pops up at the end of it that goes something like this: “Go to AOL Keyword: Ford”. You type in the keyword at the AOL website and the webpage for the Ford Motor Company magically appears at your computer monitor. Before search engines like Google came into prominence, this was what people did if they wanted to know more about a particular subject, and businesses paid big money to secure keywords to snag a larger piece of the pie for themselves.

AOL Keywords

AOL is a poster child for Web 1.0. Everything is static, communication is one-way; it is basically an extension of television where people are just expected to stare at their screens and not interact with the content at all.

Then Web 2.0 comes along.

The term was coined by Tim O’ Reilly. What was initially flouted as mere marketing hype and a short-lived buzzword has now become accepted terminology for describing the various evolutionary stages that the Internet is constantly going through. Though there is no standard definition that perfectly delineates Web 2.0 from Web 1.0, here are some of the recognized features that most Internet experts agree on:

1. Web 2.0 gives users more control over the Internet.

People now have a direct hand in how they want the Internet to be managed. For example, instead of having to rely on computer programs and software to organize and index online content, users can do the categorization process on their own by assigning “tags” or “labels” that would best describe a piece of content.

Tags option in YouTube Video.

2. Web 2.0 allows people to freely participate in content creation.

Content production on the Internet used to be mostly in the hands of companies and other large businesses. Then free blogging services like WordPress and Blogspot popped up, thereby giving anyone with an Internet connection free rein on the creation of websites and other forms of online content. Wikipedia (where every article can be written and edited by the public) is a great model that displays the power of online collaboration. It was primarily the reason why proprietary encyclopedia software like Microsoft Encarta fell into disuse and quickly went out of fashion.

Wikipedia, the reason behind the fall of proprietary encyclopedia software.

3. Web 2.0 is social.

Take a look at the social networking sites that rose to fame in the last decade: Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. And there are lesser known niche networking sites out there that number in the hundreds. Compared to Web 1.0, Web 2.0 is a more active environment for people to engage and interact in.

Four of the most popular Social Media Platforms

4. Web 2.0 provides a rich Internet experience for web users.

Websites in Web 1.0 were made up of mostly static web pages. Software like Adobe Flash, Shockwave and Java gave people the chance to develop robust and interactive websites that make the surfing experience more enjoyable.

5. Web 2.0 is a platform.

Web 1.0, in its entirety, was basically a mere collection of web pages strung together that users could click on and read through. Web 2.0 takes the capacities of the World Wide Web network further by allowing developers to build software and applications using the Web as a platform.

Now It’s Time For Web 3.0!

In summary, Web 2.0 was pretty cool, right? Right now, Internet experts are ushering in another new term – Web 3.0.

What’s with all the numbers, you might ask. The Web, like everything else, is constantly evolving. Web 3.0 is another phrase used to represent the next logical stage in its evolution.

Web 3.0 is all about personalization. Imagine being able to surf a Web where the content is tailored according to your profile, surfing history, likes and dislikes; search engines can now accurately interpret and respond to your search queries – it’s like having the Internet as an extension of your thought and decision making process. This concept, known as Semantic Web, is being heralded as the next step forward for the Internet. If you look around, you can see that semantic web elements are already being implemented to a great degree.

YouTube’s recommendation based on my viewing patterns. YouTube’s right, I am a big fan of Cyanogenmod.

Semantic Marketing? – The Future Of Social Media Marketing in Web 3.0

So, where exactly will you find Web 3.0 at work?

The answer: e-commerce. Or more specifically, e-commerce websites like Amazon and BestBuy. Amazon, an early player in the Web 2.0 era (they pioneered the use of user-submitted reviews and ratings), are now also using semantic web features on their site. Based on your browsing history, their system will come up with a list of related items that you might be interested in.

Amazon Recommendation

Though social media marketing revolves around Web 2.0 concepts like social sharing, user reviews and community-driven groups, Web 3.0 takes things a step further by making the marketing process reach out to people on a more personal level. Instead of shaping multiple marketing efforts to cater to particular audiences or groups, semantic social media marketing will directly target individuals – so that regardless of their personalities, political affiliations, culture, locations and whatnot – businesses can be sure that they can reach their customers, whoever and wherever they are.

Go back to Social Media Marketing for Web 3.0 series.

About Daniel Tan

Daniel Tan: A veteran Internet Marketer. Founder of SomoThemes, Social Metrics Pro, SEOPressor and XTabApps. Daniel's focus is to simplify marketing with technology, to help marketers reach more people in an organized and effective way.

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