Web 2.0 was first mooted in 1999 by Darcy DiNucci, in her paper, Fragmented Future, she wrote:
“The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear, and we are just starting to see how that embryo might develop. The Web will be understood not as screenfuls of text and graphics but as a transport mechanism, the ether through which interactivity happens.”
You can think of Web 2.0 as a term to describe the 2nd generation of the World Wide Web – which is bigger, faster, and cheaper than its predecessor – armed up with tools, which enables hyper-connectivity, hyper-collaboration, and hyper-democratisation. A move from the static pages we once scrolled through with little functionality (web 1.0), to something like the Google Chrome platform that now hosts a plethora of web applications made by the worlds’ progressives, enhancing the user experience; this “web modification” has been liberating for a lot of people – today, the internet has just over 3 billion users (40% of world population).
As far as I’m aware, there wasn’t any definitive new release of programming languages (HTML, CSS, PHP, etc) that markedly put the world over into the 2nd generation (although, this is probably my lack of technical knowledge talking here). I like to think the progression was made by the natural curiosity of human beings and our collaborative and logical intelligence that breaks hard problems down to the foundations so we can rebuild or build upon what was originally there. Netscape was one of the companies at the Avant-guard of pushing web 2.0 in front of users, also, a proliferation of the SaaS model and REST APIs were both key brush stroke of the composition of web 2.0. The point I am trying to make here is that there was no definitive moment when web 2.0 was born – it feels like is indeed that gradually growing embryo that was first noted in 1999 but now is now in full flight.
Are we still in the midst of Web 2.0?
When will be will Web 3.0 be coming out?
For me, the prediction is difficult to judge because web 2.0 casts a wide dynamic net. Perhaps, we have departed from web 2.0 and already arriving at the next iteration – web 2.5 (doesn’t sound as cool).
Web 3.0 in my eyes is most likely going to be a much better-curated version of web 2.0 (bigger, faster, cheaper yet again), meaning we have more relevancy, more AI assistant, and more predictability by virtue of our increased use and dependency on these widgets, devices, platforms; we will no longer be buying laptops with hard drives, it will simply come with a cloud package. NFC tattoos could be the rage. We will be wearing more connected wearable devices that hook us all up to the mainframe. The world may not have been ready for Google Glass (some say they were too obtrusive) but it we not seen the last of them… they will return! We are also seeing greater interest and use-cases in augmented reality – Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR and Mark Zuckerberg’s comments on what the future now holds for VR (virtual reality):
“Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.”
Web 3.0? I will chew on this one a little more. I don’t think I have enough foresight right now to tout a list, but I would expect Web 3.0 to be top of mind and on the table very soon.