Ok, so I admit it — the title of this post was indeed meant to draw you in. But before you jump straight to the comments form to leave your cynical wisecracks, hear me out.
Granted, we’ve struggled until now to even agree on what the term “Web 2.0″ means (although SitePoint’s own Kevin Yank has done a pretty admirable job of explaining the term in the past). As a result of the overuse of this marketing-friendly term, now anyone who doesn’t work in marketing physically cringes whenever they see or hear the term. Which is a shame, in my opinion — something that could potentially be used in a positive manner to communicate a new phase of the Web is instead being used to poke fun at the tech boom (yours truly, guilty as charged) and mock those who generate more spin than substance.
So what if there was a way for the term to be more clearly defined? What if we were to recognize that the Web is actually an ecosystem that is evolving, and that a version number — when applied to the Web — is as good a way as any to describe the various phases of its evolution? How about a version number that increments with each decade of the Web?
Entrepreneur, blogger and technology visionary Nova Spivack thinks that this makes sense, and that the ultimate goal should be the realization of a Semantic Web, where data is universally searchable, and understandable, by humans and machines. The diagram above is his vision of where he thinks the Web is headed, and his startup company, Radar Networks, has been developing a proprietary platform for consumers to take advantage of this “next-generation” Web.
Regardless of whether you believe that the Semantic Web is all hype, or whether such a platform should in fact be proprietary, there’s no denying that this is an interesting space to keep an eye on. Microformats and tagged data are bringing more semantic meaning to the Web, and beyond Web 3.0 things get pretty interesting.
Unless you have a better name for it?
Matthew Magain is a UX designer with over 15 years of experience creating exceptional digital experiences for companies such as IBM, Australia Post, and sitepoint.com. He is the co-founder of UX Mastery, and recently co-authored Everyday UX, an inspiring collection of interviews with some of the best UX Designers in the world.