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March 2008
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Web 3.0: the future is now, says Tim Berners-Lee

For those of you who are still struggling with what this Web 2.0 thing is, I’ve some bad news (though really it’s great news): Web 3.0 is just around the corner, according to the man who invented these tangled Webs. Tim Berners-Lee says in an interview with Paul Miller that the Semantic Web – a crucial part of the Web 3.0 vision – is open for business. “Wow,” I hear you say. “Web 3.0. The Semantic Web. Great … Err, what the **** does that actually mean?” Well, the sainted Sir TBL puts it this way:
Web 2.0 is a stovepipe system. It’s a set of stovepipes where each site has got its data and it’s not sharing it. What people are sometimes calling a Web 3.0 vision [is] where you’ve got lots of different data out there on the Web and you’ve got lots of different applications, but they’re independent. A given application can use different data. An application can run on a desktop or in my browser, it’s my agent. It can access all the data, which I can use and everything’s much more seamless and much more powerful because you get this integration. The same application has access to data from all over the place.
Now in my view all data is content. What we are looking at is a future where you will be able to access all data (or content) from any device or any application anywhere. But that does not mean that the Facebook Vampires application will stalk you to the toilet or “private personal enhancement medication” emails will start tumbling out of your iPod. One of the key characteristics of what’s known as Web 2.0 has been the organising of data (content) to enhance relevance. As technology allows the universal sharing of data this trend towards completely targeted relevance will become even more pronounced. It’s good to know that TBL believes William Gibson’s oft-quoted dictum: “The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed.”
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2 comments to Web 3.0: the future is now, says Tim Berners-Lee

  • I dunno. That excerpt – I can’t get into the full link – makes it sound more like a killer app that will pull everything together instead of a proper movement like many perceive web2.0 to have been.

    Something which takes and contextualises the material from 2.0 would not be my definition of web3.0.

  • Nah, it’s just folk who think they’ve grasped what web2.0 is want to show off and talk about 3.0. Sounds to me like techno speak as opposed to a different kind of communication which arguably was the difference between 1 and 2.

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