Indeed what is web 3.0, if you read wikipedia you will read a short segment about the “semantic web” which is essentially about making human readable pages machine readable as well and vise versa. But to me that doesn’t sound that three-point-oh-ish, especially if you take in consideration that 2.0 is all about collaboration and sharing, in my mind you have to use some common factor to quantify what version it is.
Now this got me thinking for the longest while when it suddenly dawned on me, it’s all about content creation.
let me explain a bit, content is what your reading right now and in the beginning all content flowed only one way, from the site owner to the reader, much like you see right now and technically this makes this site a Web 1.0 site besides the comments, but that’s only because i don’t have any other content creator registered and not a limitation of this site, but it used to be really different, i remember on one of my earlier sites i had to edit the HTML document myself and then upload it using the FTP, today i just log in and start typing.
I think youtube is one of those sites that clearly shows what web 2.0 really is, which is that anyone can create content as each user gets his or her own little corner that they can show off whatever they like (within legal limits of course), it’s this multi directional content creation that makes it tick.
But if anyone can create content then how do you get 3.0, simple, no one creates it, that is web 3.0 is more sensor driven which means that various devices collect data to a server and then shares it, but thats not all, websites create content from that content and pass it along, now this is where the semantic web comes in and makes sure the data passed along is still readable for both human and machine alike.
In theory you should be able to string together a bunch of websites that each crate a piece of information and in the end share it on youtube automatically and then keep it updated periodically without human intervention.
From this we can also draw a line towards web 4.0, but we still have the problem of content creation, because if the site owner can publish and the user can publish and the computers can do it, from where does the content come from and where does it go.
Simple, the other way, web 1.0 is one way crated by users, web 2.0 is two way created by users, web 3.0 adds one way content creation for computers into the web thus web 4.0 should add content creation for computers out from the web.
In other words if web 3.0 added a way for a server to check if the light was turned on or not in a room, web 4.0 adds the ability for it to switch it on or off itself.
Sure there is a little skynet/matrix warning over that, but look, home automation is coming really soon and as long as you have a good system to give strict privileges over things there is nothing to worry about.
So does web 3.0 and 4.0 already exist, the simple answer is yea, but for it to take off you really need new tools for it like SQL and PHP where for 2.0.