Every web/mobile web developer worth his salt speaks at length about Web 3.0, but what exactly is Web 3.0. How does it differ from its predecessors and what does it offer to us?
Mythology proves mankind is never satisfied and there is an everlasting hollow in his heart. I would like to rephrase this as "there is an everlasting pursuit for excellence in his mind" which gave rise to this beautiful evolution of the web. Now to begin with, there was never an official Web 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 naming convention. There were just three or four different evolutionary stages of the web which I prefer naming them as the Static Web (Web 1.0), Dynamic and Social Web(Web 2.0), Semantic Web (Web 3.0), Intelligent Web or WebOS (Web 4.0). Every version of the web is basically a fundamental change in both how websites are created and more importantly, how people interact with them.
So how would these items which make Web 3.0 contribute to the betterment of mankind? Imagine the following use cases.
Content Search Rather Than Keyword Search:
You have an image or a media file and want to search and find details or other versions of the same. Searching for the file name results in a never ending list from Google. I used to think, wouldn't’t it be better to just drag and drop the original file and the search engine results page would provide exact and closest matches by detecting the details of the file intelligently. This is what a content search should offer you and what is already present as a feature in Google marking the baby steps towards Web 3.0.
I wanted to plan a vacation and plan my flight with accommodations in 3 star hotel, cab service included. I started searching and found that I was investing several hours because I had to search for each aspect one-by-one. I entered my whole specification in Google and it results were completely irrelevant. At this point all Google knows is to scan the web pages that match any of the keywords I enter. For the time being I have to repeat this for every vacation even if I have the same specifications. Also, I need to compare the price between different travel portals to ensure that I have found the best deal… though I know I may not have.
Now in a Web 3.0 scenario I enter these words together and the browser gathers, analyzes and presents the results to me in a way that makes comparison a snap. It can do this because Web 3.0 will be able to understand multiple information sources on the web and act as a giant database.
Artificially Intelligent Web Mashup:
I was on my first trip to US and got so bored sitting inside my hotel room watching channels I would never understand without subtitles. Being kind of adventurous I headed out alone to do some sightseeing. I went through neighborhoods admiring the beauty when I suddenly felt a rumble in my tummy, it was an alarm for me to eat. I realized I had been so lost in my world that I had lost track of where I was. Thanks to my GPS enabled phone I immediately found my location. When I searched for a list of Indian hotels nearby I was presented with a number of results.
Unfortunately I was unable find a good one even after visiting several of them. Then it stuck me… cab drivers are always the best guides when it comes to these scenarios. I made an inquiry, walked to a nearby hotel and ate happily. As I was looking into the reviews and saw that the locals had great things to say about the place. Had these results come up with the initial search I would not have had to look so long on an empty stomach. Why was I not able to find it in the first place?
- Google does not know what the locals have to say about a specific hotel (unless the reviews are in Google+ or people have reviewed it within Google specifically)
- Facebook cannot search for a hotel.
How good would it have been if search and the social media had worked together to help me find the best Indian hotel? It would have been more fantastic than Indian cuisine I believe, and that is what a Web 3.0 can offer. It can perform a mashup through API's of different disparate systems and get you the best results. It also intelligently updates its neural networks (personalization) so that Thai (also one of my favorite cuisines) would populate during further searches to refine the results.
Is this achievable? These stories of the web being a giant database, having artificial intelligence, being able to understand words in the context of its usage etc… How do these come true? What technologies would make these possible and what are the hurdles in our path? The answers to these questions are coming soon in my forthcoming blogs.