Web 5.0 - A glimpse of the future

Published 2006-10-25. Read 12,741 times. Comments. Tagged: 2.0 rant web

With so attention being made of Web 2.0 and it looking like there’s going to be more than enough attention for Web 3.0 considering they’ve already started thrashing out the idea for it (even though 99% of the population can’t define Web 2.0 without a high number of "umm"s and "err"s). I’ll summarise what they’ve come up with so far:

  1. Get everyone using it
  2. Put it everywhere
  3. Integrate all our data but do it securely

Am I the only person that thinks they’re cutting themselves off from another sequel?

I would say I don’t mean to be cynical but I’m English and it’s in my DNA. Am I the only person that thinks they’re cutting themselves off from another sequel? Seriously, if you look at the actual post by Stephen Baker they want everyone using the internet on any device with all their data. I’m not sure my math is completely right but here’s an equation I feel sums this up quite well:

Every person + Every device + All data = Web 3.0 = Everything

What they’re not realising is how wild people go over buzzwords, moreover new buzzwords. If Web 3.0 is going to encompass everything, there’s no scope to develop on that and therefore there won’t be a Web 4.0 or a Web 5.0. What are people going to do without those for pretty meaningless buzzwords?

Moreover isn’t it slightly out of the their jurisdiction to say everyone needs 150 internet enabled devices around their homes and they need to store all their data in a central server where it might get hacked.

I think as soon as people realise they’re never going to reach Web n.0 they would either break down and cry or troll around looking for a new buzzword to mean something that’s exciting and somehow more turnkey than the last turnkey solution they were offering to their customers.

Lets imagine Web 3.0 is less than everything

Lets skip 5 years into the future. The concept for Web 5.0 is about to be announced and people around the world are waiting on tenterhooks to find out what’s going to replace the awful excuse for an idea that was Web 4.0.

Web 4.0 consisted of people plugging wires into their central nervous system and interacting with other users in a perfect online utopia without the need for keyboards or spell checkers. People can interact and form meaningful friendships with other users and share as much or as little information about themselves with one another.

But only a few months after people started to implement this technology some kid named t3h_0|\|3 started to harass people about their size of their unmentionables while offering them the "wonder cure". People are starting to get so irate that they’re rejecting the system and are going back to their offline lives. Web n.0 is at risk.

To combat the increase of spam and lack of privacy the idea that "agents" be placed on the system to catch people like t3h_0|\|3. There’s also a sub clause about using people’s bodies to generate electricity but that’s in very small print.

Haaaaang on! Quickly before someone gets sued.

Ok, ok. That’s all a bit silly (well apart from the plugging yourself into the computer and using your body as a power supply — it will happen, you mark my words). Why do people get so worked up about things? I’ll be the first to admit that I really wanted to get the site looking all Web 2.0. About 50% of the way through the redesign process I had to stop and work out what Web 2.0 actually is because there are so many definitions:

  • A post .com-bubble-burst buzzword to heighten spirits and renew faith in technology (aka worthless marketing word)
  • A method of minimalistic/pastel design
  • Use of AJAX on pages
  • Organising data by multiple "tags"(folksonomy) instead of one section (taxonomy)
  • User interaction at any level

But are any of those things that new? We’ve been able to do each of these things for a very long time and many sites have used these sorts of things for well over a decade.

So what have we learnt, children?

The problem with Web 2.0 is that it was coined to fit a meme that already existed. There were already services out there that could be considered Web 2.0 when they thought of it. With this insurgence of postulation over what n.0 is going to look like, its all theories and rumours… Lips and assholes, you could say. No meat.

Why don’t we stop paying attention to the names people try to spin onto these otherwise organic movements? They only serve to confuse people and rob them of their money. Let’s just see what happens to the internet if we just stop trying to predict the future for one second. If we spend too much time wondering “what-if” we’re going to miss out on the real developments that are happening all the time.

In short: “Screw the people that make the buzzwords; I’m going to reinvent the internet my way!” (Coincidentally, my prediction for Web 3.0)

About Oli: I’m a Django and Python programmer, occasional designer, Ubuntu member, Ask Ubuntu moderator and technical blogger. I occasionally like to rant about subjects I should probably learn more about but I usually mean well.

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