The current generations of Web applications (Web 2.0) have made them an
outright phenomenon in today’s society helping to redefine the way organizations and
individuals communicate and collaborate with each other. The purpose of this paper is to
conceptualize the evolution of Web technologies from a user perspective. This paper
attempts to enlighten the current generations of Web applications (Web 2.0) and also to
identify the architectural direction of that the next generation (Web 3.0) of Web
applications would meld itself into.
Definition Web 2.0
Over the recent past, the Web has been transformed from being a medium in
which information is transmitted and consumed, to a platform where content is created,
shared, altered and reproduced. At the same time differentiation between Web 1.0 and
Web 2.0 is not clearly defined. Indeed Sir Tim Berners-Lee1, creator of the World Wide
Web, has suggested that there is no real difference between the two, as some of the
elements of Web 2.0 were fundamental parts of Web 1.0.
The term “Web 2.0” peaked in popularity during the early part of 2007 and was
believed to have enormous potential in its features. However murky the definition of Web
2.0 may be, its underlying features emphasize flexibility of access, interaction, mobility,
multimedia capability, participation, informality and feedback. Though frequently these
terms are associated with Web 2.0, the technical developments are not its essence. Web
2.0 is instead associates to reference the transition of the World Wide Web to a new
phase of use and service development.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee (born 8 June 1955) is a British computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World
Wide Web. He made a proposal for an information management system in March 1989, and he implemented the
first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet.
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Definition of Web 3.0
From a humble beginning as a methodology used as machine interpretable data
through the new generation software, “Web 3.0” also known by its pseudonym as
Semantic Web2, has matured itself into a set of standards that support open data formats
whilst at the same time processes information that emphasizes information rather than
mere processing. The main idea behind the semantics in Web 3.0 was the creation of
Web content by not using natural language but a form of script that could be understood
and gauged by software agents in order to allow them to find, share or integrate
information much more easily and efficiently, meeting the first stepping stone towards
The focal aim of the Web 3.0 technology is to assist the web users to contribute
information in ways that computers can understand, process and exchange. These
developments in Web technology would enable the Web application to perform tedious
tasks like collating information from varied sources and assist users to search relevant
information according to their needs efficiently. This nature of versatile offering by
technology in the past few years has prompted a growing interest in the new generation
of Web, as indicated by the rapidly increasing number of semantic markup available on
the Web, the number of organizations starting to carry out research and development
activities in the area and by the number of Web 3.0 applications which now exist. All
these developments indicate that Web 3.0 is mirroring the same growth of the Web in the
early stages of its evolution, a strong signal that Web 3.0 is likely to become another
The availability of Semantic markups would open up novel possibilities to
develop smart, web based applications and functionalities. Web 3.0 would bring
additional properties that would include micro formats, natural language search, data
mining, machine learning, recommendation agents and artificial intelligence technologies
which would emphasize the importance of machine facilitated understanding of
The Semantic Web is a collaborative movement led by international standards body the World Wide Web
Consortium (W3C). The standard promotes common data formats on the World Wide Web. Source:
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Background of Web 2.0
Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the World Wide Web (WWW) was for a tool which
created and gathered knowledge through human interaction and collaboration. Web 2.0 is
a stage of development in which the Web is progressing towards this goal. Most analysts
define Web 2.0 in terms of the tools that foster online participation in content creation
and social interaction. This tends only to produce lists of new software applications or
claims of ‘we are the web’, ‘web 2.0 is people’ etc.
The term “Web 2.0” was first used in January 1999 by Darcy DiNucci, a
consultant on electronic information design (information architecture). Writing when
Palm Inc. was introducing its first web-capable personal digital assistant, supporting web
access with WAP 3, DiNucci saw the web “fragmenting” into a future that extended far
beyond the browser/PC combination it was identified with. Her vision of the web’s future
focused on how the basic information structure and hyper-linking mechanism introduced
by HTTP4 would be used by a variety of devices and platforms. As such, her use of the
“2.0” designation refers to a next version of the web that does not directly relate to the
term's current use.
The term Web 2.0 did not resurface until 2002. These authors focus on the
concepts currently associated with the term where, as Scott Dietzen puts it, “the Web
becomes a universal, standards-based integration platform”. John Robb wrote: “What is
Web 2.0? It is a system that breaks with the old model of centralized Web sites and
moves the power of the Web/Internet to the desktop.”
In 2004, Tim O’Reilly popularized Web 2.0 as an expression when he wrote a
fairly coherent definition. Web 2.0 is definitely the next big thing in the WWW. It makes
use of latest technologies and concepts in order to make the user experience more
interactive, useful and interconnecting. It has brought yet another way to interconnect the
Wireless access point (WAP) is a device that allows wireless devices to connect to a wired network.
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia
information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web.
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world by means of collecting information and allowing it to be shared affectively. It
definitely has a bright future with so many Web 2.0 based websites coming up. It is a
revolution in the field of computers and will definitely achieve far greater success.
The term Web 2.0 was initially championed by bloggers and by technology
journalists, culminating in the 2006 TIME magazine Person of The Year. That is, TIME
selected the masses of users who were participating in content creation on social
networks, blogs, wikis, and media sharing sites.
The Characteristics of Web 2.0
Web 2.0 websites allow users to do more than just retrieve information. Instead of
merely 'reading', a user is invited to 'write' as well, or contribute to the content available
to everyone in a user friendly way. By increasing what was already possible in “Web
1.0”, they provide the user with more user-interface, software and storage facilities, all
through their browser. This has been called “network as platform” computing.
Major characteristics of Web 2.0 include:
1. Information Search: Search engine helps in finding relevant information for the
keywords entered. It includes website designing, website ranking in search engine,
keyword research, etc.
2. Links: Low-barrier social tool. It includes one-way linking, link exchange, etc.
3. Authoring: This gives the right to create, publish and upload content, videos, audios
of your own. It includes blogs, press releases, articles, newsletters, etc.
4. Tags: These are one word descriptions of the entire content written by the owner.
5. Extensions: It is software that makes web an application platform as well as a
6. Signals: It is the use of syndicate technology that informs users of content changes.
RSS, Really Simple Syndication, is a tool from where you can get the latest updates
of your area of interest.
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Web 2.0 Technologies
Some specific Web 2.0 technologies are also important to understand. These
Figure 2-1. Web 2.0
an important underlying technology used to create interactive Web applications. Ajax
is what enables Web 2.0 sites to behave dynamically, so that they feel more like
computer programs than static web pages.
2. Atom – A format for the syndication of online content, atom functions as a newer
alternative to RSS (described below).
3. Blog – Originally derived from the word “weblog”, a blog is a simple content website
created with inexpensive self-publishing tools. Blogs are the backbone of Web 2.0’s
4. Mashups – Websites or applications that combine content from one or more sources.
For example, Cellreception.com combines Google Maps with a database of 124,000
cell phone tower locations to help users determine where mobile coverage is strong
and where it isn’t.
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5. RSS – Shorthand for “Real Simple Syndication”, RSS is a protocol that makes it easy
for computer users to receive content from their favorite providers whenever the
content is updated. Instead of having to remember to visit a website to read a favorite
column, watch a video, or listen to an audio program, RSS lets a user subscribe to the
content so it's delivered automatically. The flow of content the user receives is called
an “RSS feed”.
6. Social media – A generic term used to describe Web-based tools that harness the
power of collaboration and group interaction. This can take many forms, from the
personal web pages of MySpace to the virtual worlds of Second Life to the
professional networking popular on LinkedIn.
7. Tags – User-generated keywords used to describe online content. Tags make it easier
for both humans and search engines to find relevant and related information.
8. Wikis – A dynamic Web document that allows users to add, change, or edit the
content displayed on the page. The user-created Wikipedia online encyclopedia is the
most famous example.
9. XML – An abbreviation for “Extensible Markup Language”, XML is a programming
code for online data that preserves the structure and formatting of a digital document
regardless of whatever application is used to read it. XML is an important enabling
technology for RSS feeds (described above).
Example of Web 2.0 Websites
Here are the 8 Most Popular Web 2.0 Websites as derived from eBizMBA Rank
which is a constantly updated average of each website’s Alexa Global Traffic Rank, and
U.S. Traffic Rank from both Compete and Quantcast5.
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YouTube – It allows the users to upload their videos and share it with
Wikipedia – It is online encyclopedia wherein the users contribute by
writing the articles, definitions, etc. It is completely edited and maintained
by the users.
Twitter – It is an online social networking and microblogging service that
enables users to send and read “tweets”, which are text messages limited to
Flickr – It is a photo sharing website which allows users to upload their
photographs and share it with anyone and everyone.
Instagram – It is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social
networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply
digital filters to them.
Tumblr – It is a microblogging platform and social networking website that
allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog.
eHow – It is an online how-to guide with articles and videos offering stepby-step instructions. Users can leave comments or responses, but only
contracted writers can contribute changes to articles.
Photobucket – It is an image hosting and video hosting website, web
services suite, and online community dedicated to preserving and sharing
the entire photo and video lifecycle.
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Benefits and Drawbacks of Web 2.0
disadvantages of Web 1.0, Web
2.0 came into existence. The term
Web 2.0 is usually associated
with web applications that help in
two-way communication. It is
basically a user-centered design
that is associated with terms such
information/ knowledge sharing, etc. Earlier, only the advertisers, publishers and website
owners were allowed to share their knowledge and information in the worldwide web.
Today, it is more than just sharing knowledge and information. Web 2.0 gives the
freedom to each and every individual to post their thoughts, views, philosophies, likes
and dislikes. It is all about interaction, sharing and networking.
Now let’s discuss few of the pros and cons of Web 2.0:
1. Social Media Marketing and Search
2. Equal chance to all to post their
views and comments.
3. Increase the circle of friends and
contacts through social networking.
4. Latest update and content can be
received if you are a RSS reader.
5. Online promotion of businesses,
products and services.
6. Engaging the customers. Customers
can write their views about the
products and services.
1. Information overload. Too much
information is daily posted by many
people with different thought. This
creates confusion for the readers and
the quality of the content is not reliable.
2. Freedom to post views and comments
provides good opportunities for
competitors and rivals to post negative
comments about other companies.
3. Too many fake ID’s and spammers.
4. Forgeries and hackers commit crimes.
8|WEB2.0 AND WEB 3.0
Social media marketing is one of the biggest and most significant results of Web
2.0. Websites like Facebook, Orkut, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, You Tube, etc are the
top visited websites. It is because networking is one of the most essential needs in today’s
world. Efficient networking is backed by internet. Thus, two-thirds of the total number of
internet users visit social media websites daily. It has become an addiction to many.
Again this brings many advantages and disadvantages along with it. Few of them are:
1. Create a large and strong network.
1. People are highly dependent on internet
2. Increase in number of friends.
3. More interaction leads to higher 2. Wastage of time.
exchange of knowledge.
3. High number of frauds and hackers.
4. Build strong relationships.
People now-a-days are so addicted to update their Facebook and LinkedIn
accounts that they do not realize the amount of time they are spending in such activities.
According to a survey, every individual working in an organization spends an average
time of about 40 minutes daily on social media websites. This incurs loss to the
organizations as their valuable and knowledgeable employees are busy chatting online
with their friends. The organizations are taking the following steps to eliminate this
Organizations now-a-days block all social media websites.
They encourage employees to indulge in activities organized within the company,
where they can socialize and relax.
An interesting work environment can help employees to concentrate more on their
9|WEB2.0 AND WEB 3.0
Background of Web 3.0
The semantic web or Web 3.0, introduced by Tim Berners-Lee in 2001, refers to
dispensing with the typical cost and hassle of installing and running certain software
programs and using the internet. While many people believe it is still far in the future,
Web 3.0 has already infiltrated our daily life in our normal use of Internet. Companies
such as Amazon and Google have been actively using Web 3.0 to attract customers, and
Facebook’s recent rendition of the “pages” has pushed web 3.0 to a new height and
awareness. Through the use of rating systems and products we’ve accessed, e-mail
subject scanning, the frequency of the music we are listening to, and the “Like” button,
the web is actively learning the preferences of the user and providing content that would
be most appealing to the user. The Internet is evolving around the user, and ultimately
would expand to appliances and other daily gadgets people use.
For many people, Web 3.0 is often called the Semantic Web, which, in essence, is
a place where search engines and software agents can better troll the Net and find what
users are looking for. According to Nova Spivack, the CEO of Radar Networks, one of
the leading voices of Web 3.0, it is a “set of standards that turns the Web into one big
The Characteristics of Web 3.0
While the concept continues to be identified, there are some basic characteristics
of Web 3.0:
1. Semantic Web – a web where machines read sites in a way similar to humans, and
seek out information based on the users’ set criteria to produce optimal result. For
example, the computer may check the person’s schedule against the available
appointment schedule of all dentists around the person in a 10-mile radius.
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2. 3D Web – a web that provides virtual reality surfing similar to that of 3D video
games or movies, giving viewers a more dynamic and realistic experience while
viewing the site’s material.
3. Media-Centric Web – a web where one uses a media to find other media, thereby
eliminating the use of keywords and the frustration of not knowing what to use to find
the information you need. One of the ideas within this concept is the Augmented
Reality, where users can use their cellphone to take a picture of the neighborhood,
and access the web to search for information regarding this particular location. It
increases the accuracy and eliminates wait time or guessing.
4. All-encompassing Web – or as PC Mag calls it, the “pervasive web”, a web that is
everywhere and surrounds every aspects of one’s life. Appliances, not just computers,
can be programmed and connected to the web, and provide a more luxurious,
anticipatory lifestyle to people.
Web 3.0 Technologies
There are actually several major technology trends that are about to reach a new
level of maturity at the same time. The simultaneous maturity of these trends is mutually
reinforcing, and collectively they will drive the third-generation Web (Web 3.0). From
this broader perspective, Web 3.0 might be defined as a third-generation of the Web
enabled by the convergence of several key emerging technology trends:
1. Ubiquitous Connectivity – broadband adoption, mobile internet access, mobile
2. Network Computing – software-as-a-service business models, web services
interoperability, distributed computing (P2P, grid computing, hosted “cloud
computing” server farms such as Amazon S3).
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3. Open Technologies – Open APIs and protocols, Open data formats, Open-source
software platforms, Open data (Creative Commons, Open Data License, etc.).
4. Open Identity – Open identity (OpenID), Open reputation, Portable identity and
personal data (for example, the ability to port your user account and search history
from one service to another).
5. The Intelligent Web –
Semantic Web technologies (RDF, OWL, SWRL, SPARQL, Semantic application
platforms, and statement-based datastores such as triplestores, tuplestores and
Distributed databases — or what I call “The World Wide Database” (wide-area
distributed database interoperability enabled by Semantic Web technologies).
Intelligent applications (natural language processing, machine learning, machine
reasoning, autonomous agents).
Figure 3-1. Web 3.0
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Example of Web 3.0 Websites
Today’s web has terabytes of information available to humans, but hidden from
computers. It is a paradox that information is stuck inside HTML 6 pages, formatted in
esoteric ways that are difficult for machines to process. The so called Web 3.0, which is
likely to be a pre-cursor of the real semantic web, is going to change this. The
transformation will happen in one of two ways. Some web sites will follow the example
of Amazon, del.icio.us and Flickr and will offer their information via a REST API7.
Others will try to keep their information proprietary, but it will be opened via mashups
created using services like Dapper, Teqlo and Yahoo! Pipes.
Amazon – The Seattle web giant is reinventing itself by
exposing its own infrastructure via a set of elegant APIs. One
of the first web services opened up by Amazon was the ECommerce service. This service opens access to the majority of items in Amazon's
del.icio.us – It is also famous as one of the first companies
to open a subset of its web site functionality via an API.
Dapper – It launched a generic scraping service for any web
site. Dapper is an interesting technology that facilitates the
scraping of the web pages, using a visual interface.
As more and more of the Web are becoming remixable, the entire system is
turning into both a platform and the database. APIs are a more controlled, cleaner and
altogether preferred way of becoming a web service.
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the main markup language for creating web pages and other information
that can be displayed in a web browser.
Representational state transfer (REST) is an architectural style consisting of a coordinated set of constraints
applied to components, connectors, and data elements, within a distributed hypermedia system.
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Benefits and Drawbacks of Web 3.0
The potential benefits and drawbacks of Web 3.0 can be illustrated by showing
the advantages and disadvantages in the following:
presented in a visually improved
manner that enhances interaction,
2. Taxonomies – standardized and selfdescribing classifications.
3. No software programs to install.
4. Web 3.0 browsers learn (artificial
intelligence) likes and dislikes and
would function as trusted advisor,
mentor and personal assistant and
less like a search engine.
5. Browsers will position themselves as
true lifestyle canvases, taking into
account cutting-edge concepts like
social bookmarking and in-group
searching to produce a much more
customized and targeted Web surfing
1. Search engine optimization practices
may undergo wholesale adjustments as
architectural standards of Web 3.0 fight
2. As with any new technology or
Internet-related development, personal
privacy issues will be at the forefront of
3. Still a long way from reality because of
the number of technologies that is
4. New technologies that not all
companies are embracing yet
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Web 2.0 changes the authoring of eLearning content and knowledge by providing
user flexible and friendly applications for developing, analyzing, publishing and sharing
the instructions and recourses. Machine processing of content, programs and people
relationships and advanced automation of an authoring process is possible using the
advantages of semantic technologies.In the paper the characteristics of social Web 2.0
and semantic Web 3.0 are identified. The benefits of the Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 authoring
tools are summarized and discussed. A number of key challenges and areas for
implementation which would enable more widespread adoption of semantic technologies
by authors are identified.
The semantic web or Web 3.0 presented in this paper offers a vision of a world
with unprecedented interconnectedness (that will) be an important part of everyday life at
some point in the future. Whether that point is the year 2020 as predicted by Tim
15 | W E B 2 . 0 A N D W E B 3 . 0
Berners-Lee remains to be seen. Many technological changes will need to take place in
order to realize Berners-Lee’s vision. What is certain is that “massive improvements in
mobile computing and interconnectivity of remotely enabled devices coupled with Web
3.0 developments will result in the positioning of the Internet as “the world’s common
The main conclusion is that integration of Web 2.0 application design patterns
and Web 3.0 logics and knowledge management should give rise to a new and exciting
environment-the Social Semantic Web. In a Social Semantic Web, certain, formally
representable parts of human knowledge can be encoded and reasoned about via the tools
of the Semantic Web and it can also easily be maintained via the social, communityoriented techniques of Web 2.0. Semantic technologies will guarantee the efficient search
of learning resources, information or services, automatic knowledge management,
accuracy consistency and integration, while Web 2.0 will guarantee the collaborative
Although the web 3.0 is fast
developing its new system, we will probably
still be using the web 2.0 for some more
years now, as the data web use that web 3.0
proposes is still in its early stages. However,
it will slowly become an integrated part of
the web, and these new technologies will
allow for advanced infrastructures for better information and data through the web, which
will no doubt be more powerful than the existing web 2.0. It may be incredible to think
that there can be anything better than the web 2.0 where design was created to have a
great impact on the users, which it seems hard to surpass. However, the web 3.0 will be
focusing more on the type of browsing and not only on the different browsers used.
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Baumann, M. (2010). Pew Report: Expert Opinion Divided on Web 3.0. Information Today,
July/August 2010, 27(7), 11.
Franklin, T. & van Harmelen, M. (2007). Web 2.0 for Content for Learning and Teaching in
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Hendler, J. & Golbeck, J. (2007). Metcalfe's Law, Web 2.0, and the Semantic Web.
Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World. (2009). Report of an independent Committee of Inquiry
into the impact on higher education of students’ widespread use of Web 2.0 technologies.
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York: Mar 2010. 53(3), 16-18.
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July 1, 2010, Vol. 20, Iss. 4, pg. 40.
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