Can We Have Web 3 Now?

By June 25, 2010

One of the nice things about hanging out with semantic folks is that they acknowledge that Web 2 is already dead. Of course, we have to wait for Tim O’Reilly and John Batelle to make the official announcement (they’re reall

y hanging onto that ‘2’ like their lives depended on it), but those of us who are numerate can make a pretty good guess what the next iteration of the web will be called, so why not leave ‘Web 2” and “Web Squared” behind?

The ways we use the internet has changed dramatically in the last two years. In June 2008, Twitter was just a wacky valley thing, and Facebook has just caught up to MySpace two months before. When people spoke of real-time back then, they were talking about 24. And the iPhone 3G was set to launch the next month.

Before that, smartphones had been for early adopters and corporate types. The 3G’s low cost started the smartphone boom. Which begat location which begat check-ins which will beget our future spatiotemporal relationships to the world.

Two years ago, the semantic web was supposed to be the cornerstone of Web 3. Semantic is still in development phase, but the web looks nothing like it did before the recession. It’s mobile, location-based, real-time. It’s becoming wearable, it’s becoming intelligent, it’s becoming brain-wave-controlled.

Maybe we should just stop talking about “Web 2.0” or “Web 3.0” (version numbers are too 90’s), and just call this thing the internet. Because in two years it will look nothing like it does today, and we’ll all be sitting there, waiting for O’Reilly and Batelle to let us know that things have changed.

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