I know nowdays it seems as though the internet has been with us all the time, how did we ever live without the web ? Well, heading into 2009, it sure seems like the right time to reflect both on how the web evolved and where it's headed.
Looking back, this was the Web 1.0 era, when 14.4 modems ruled the hardware realm and AOL, Netscape were the big names in this period. We were just starting to explore the web and the big challenge was simply getting people accustomed to buying a computer and paying monthly fees for internet connection. The biggest revolution this time was people buying more PCs and exchanging information online through e-mail.
This will be known as the Web 2.0 period, connection wise we went from modems to wireless built right into our laptops, and connection speed is blazing fast with our fiber optics (of course, it feel blazing fast now, but 5 years down the road, people will be laughing when they read this article). The two main objectives for Web 2.0 was digitizing information, think Google, Wikipedia, Youtube and Slideshare; and forming small groups in an online community, think Facebook, Ning, Twitter, LinkedIn.
So, here we are, we have bits of digitized information and a bunch of folks talking online, what happens next ?
How many of us had the pleasure of trying to learn something online ? Well, I think the next logical step for Web 3.0 is now that we have a bunch of people in social networks, standing around doing virtual stare, is to start learning from each other. The Web, in a grander sense, is about individual empowerment. We used to call a stock broker to trade stocks, now we have all the tools and information available to them as to us, Level II quotes, up the the minute information, combine that with low trading fees, the Web has empowered the individual to trade their own stocks; we used to have to go to a bookstore to browse and find the books we want, now we go to Amazon and we have the world's largest bookstore at our fingertips; we used to go to the library for research when we're writing a paper, now we do Google search; the Web has empowered us in different areas doing different things.