Since late 2005, there had been much buzz of this Web 2.0; the new Internet. What really
is was Web 2.0?Web 2.0 was a "revolution" on the Internet that lead to services and sites being created that relied heavily on user generated content. Blogging platforms,photo publishing sites, news aggregators and RSS feeds were all the hype until mid 2009. Not much innovation has been happening in the core technology that powered these colossal user driven websites.
In the mean time, the Internet kept growing and it got a larger user base. The masses are now hungry for information and try to use every possible resource on the Internet to satisfy their needs. Search, as we know is what we associate with the word Google.Though google still commands a majority of search, a new searcher junkie has evolved; One that is thirsty for information that is absolutely up to date which is not the case with google whose crawlers could take hours to get the content. This gave rise to sites like Twitter. In terms of content aggregation and visual representation Yahoo Search Monkey, Wolfram Alpha and Google Squared have come out in the forefront as customizable and option driven platforms that let you do all sorts of fancy stuff with your data. Twitter, for now is the king of real time search. From recent history, it has played crucial roles in the US Elections, Iran Election, Sports Events and the most recent death of Michael Jackson. Web 2.0 lacked this functionality. It is not just about community driven websites, a lot of it has to do with the contribution of individual users and how they want to control what they see.I found an interesting quote online about real time search via inchoo.net
This leads us to the topic of crowd sourcing. There has been a recent spurt of sites where the site depends on its users to contribute to the data on the site. Wikipedia is the best example for a crowd sourced website. How much of this information is valid and relevant? I think with the next wave of web technologies coming in, there has to be a defining line between user generated content and accurate content. Search relevancy is an important progression in the events that lead to Web 3.0. Many of you might argue that the third iteration of the web is already here. I think its almost here. With advances in HTML5 and technologies like Google Wave which are still in the works and not completely comprehensible to the normal user, I think many companies are making the right steps to forward the web. The web is an important source of information and I see no reason why it can't continue to become better. It's a matter of making the right technological decisions.
Opening up API's, letting users mash-up content from their existing user base with another service with not only generate revenue for both the parties but will result in an overall pleasurable experience for the user which is what it comes down to at the end of the day. Twitter, Foursquare , Facebook, Last.fm etc.. are not just the childish social networks you think they are. They have an enormous user-base who generate an enormous amount of data that could be used from tons of stuff like marketing to recommendation engines to discovering new music. I think these guys have taken the right step. It's a matter of making it more appealing to the average person. Soon enough, with a better business model and wider mobile accessibility I think these websites will define the future of the interwebs. I will leave it at that.
Please leave comments and let me know what you think about Web 3.0? What do you think it is going to be? Is it going to rock your world?