This year is the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989, about 20 years after the first connection was established over what is today known as the Internet. Since that time, the Web has changed the world. And many industry experts believe Web 3.0 will change our lives even more.

To understand Web 3.0 and what it will do for us, we need to look at where it has been.

Web 1.0 “The Static Web”: Back in the 1990’s, we had static HTML pages that were found predominantly through directories and bookmarks, essentially a library – you could use it as a source of information, but couldn’t contribute to or change the information in any way.

Web 2.0 “The Social Web” or “The Collaborative Web”: Web 2.0 was about people and systems being able to communicate across multiple platforms. Users could make changes to web pages (for example posting reviews and comments, or updating sites such as Wikipedia); social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace made it easy for users to find each other and keep in touch; sites such as YouTube allowed users to create and share content; and RSS feeds made it easier for users to get information.

Web 3.0 “The Semantic Web” or “The Intelligent Web”: There is much debate about whether Web 3.0 is here yet. Or whether Web 3.0 is the Semantic Web. To many, Web 3.0 is something called the Semantic Web, a term coined by Tim Berners-Lee. In essence, the Semantic Web is a place where machines can read Web pages much as we humans read them, a place where search engines and software agents can better troll the Net and find what we’re looking for. For example, if you wanted to book a weekend in Paris, and wanted to compare hotels and flights, as well as find restaurants and museums close to your chosen hotel, you wouldn’t have to conduct separate searches for hotels, flights, restaurants and museums. The web would simply deliver search results for all and categorise it in such a way that you would know which places are more convenient. What web 3.0 promises is a more personalised, faster method of search that is tailored to your needs. And experts predict that this could also simplify the current problem of sifting through pages and pages of irrelevant web search results. While Web 2.0 uses the Internet to make connections between people, Web 3.0 will use the Internet to make connections with information. Some experts see Web 3.0 replacing the current Web while others believe it will exist as a separate network.

Web 3.0 is still very much in its infancy stage but it is coming so get prepared!

If you want to find out more about Web 3.0, take a look at this excellent video http://vimeo.com/11529540 and article http://computer.howstuffworks.com/web-30.htm.

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