It’s fun to try and envision the future. Who could have imagined the capabilities of the internet just 10 years ago! Lets see if we can make some predictions about the near future of the web. This post will give a good overview of the direction of the web. Comment and give me your predictions!
Hat tip – many of these ideas are not my own and scrounged from many articles on Web 3.0 A few links I used are listed at the end. Thanks to all the brilliant people out there envisioning the future.
If Web 2.0 is all about:
- Blogs, Social media (Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Digg)
- Coding (HTML)
The versioning of the web is a bit of a stretch and overdone but we’ll go with it. Many of these technologies are just out of view of radar or in beta. But, they’re coming!
“Web 3.0” is going to be about:
- Intuitive experience
- Intelligent predicted results “complete your sentences”
- Applications: (last.fm, Google Docs, games)
- Coding (XHTML, AJAX, Ruby)
High bandwidth – High capacity internet connections are going to be more prevalent. This will be exploited to allow video streaming, internet TV, and instantaneous communication. This higher capability of greater than 10 Mbps is key to the development of Web 3.0 tech.
Ubiquitous connectivity – You are never “off” the grid. We will always be connected.
Mobility – Phones are going to become a prevalent extension of the internet. Our apps will travel with us and interface among computers. There will be very high latency, it is always there waiting for you to use.
Centralized decentralization – All of these great apps we are starting to see, all living on your own personalized landing page or platform. This is starting to happen. The glut of social media is being brought together. Digsby brings your AIM, Gtalk, ICQ, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Facebook, MySpace, and many more all into one application.
Online based applications – No longer do you go to the store to pick up a piece of software. Creating Documents, converting files, storing files, and graphic design. Work will be done online and accessible anywhere. You won’t be tied to one specific computer to complete work.
Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) – Many things such as web design will become much more user friendly and allow click-and-drag interface and easy customization of very complex user interfaces. Ning is a great example of this done well. On Ning you create a social network and can easily customize features, colors and add plugins.
Less in-your-face marketing – Marketers must deliver content and value with their message on the side. People don’t like to watch ads on their computer. Advertainment may play a bigger role with product placement in shows and movies. Also, games and social media may eventually figure out the new channels of marketing.
Open technology – Open source technology and platforms will enable rapid building of projects and ever more powerful applications. WordPress is starting to become a very powerful CMS (Content Management System) It now allows such customization that it looks like a website and can even be into an E-Commerce site.
Mashups – Currently mashups involving maps and RSS feeds are the most common. As richer APIs are developed more services and data can be easily used to create uniques mashups. In what new ways will data be mashed?
Web standards – New guidelines and standards are being formulated to allow for consistent and predictable coding. 3D – Our computing power and net speed is still a ways off from being able to do this on a large scale. Second Life is an exciting new example of the possibilities of online three-dimensional worlds.
I am curious what is going to be the future of search? The new challenge is organizing the vast quantity of ever expanding content on the web. When we search, will we be asking more natural questions like, “what is the number of the nearest pizza place?”
Semantic Web – allows for “content… ‘to’ …be expressed not only in natural language, but also in a format that can be read and used by automated tools, thus permitting people and machines to find, share and integrate information more easily.” In simple language, this allows a writer to attach certain “meta” data to an article or something and this meta data lets bots from search engines know what this piece of content is all about.
Currently, bots look at a page and try to figure out if it’s relevant to a specific term or idea. This is a very necessary element to add to the web as the amount of data is growing exponentially. Reuters Calais is a new tool that extracts meta-data from a piece of content to find relevancy.
Microformats are a new standard of embedding this meta-data. It puts code behind the scenes in a standard format. A common application now is for resumes. The hResume format does this for resumes and allows search engines to easily see that it’s a resume and key information. Another is the hCard format for contact information.
Artificial Intelligence & Reasoning – More complex algorithms and ways for computers to “learn” preferences. This idea is gaining momentum. Google is starting to give you tailored search results based on your browsing habits.
Vertical Search – Search engines focused on a specific area of expertise or geographic limitation/ Such as: travel, commerce, people, jobs and news. Local search engines are also an example of vertical search as they retrieve sites relevant only to a certain area. Wikipedia has a great list of search engines, many of which are very niche.
Summing up, the main memes I see in the upcoming web are:
- High bandwidth
- Ubiquitous connectivity Mobility
- Centralized decentralization
- Online based applications
- Graphical User Interfaces
- Less in-your-face marketing
- Open technology
- Web standards
- 3D Interfaces
- Semantic Web
- Artificial Intelligence & Reasoning
- Vertical Search