Since a few years we’ve seen more and more people defining the current World Wide Web as being the Web 2.0. Some others posits the emergence of a Web 3.0 and many persons even start to talk about a web 4.0! What does all this mean? I personally do not understand. It’s mainly confusing and smells marketing from afar.
So Web 2.0 was the social network era, the 3.0 is supposed to be the Internet of Things and the 4.0, I don’t even know and it doesn’t make any sense to talk about it. I am persuaded that we should drop all this versioning of the Web. The internet is surely evolving but it evolves just like a living organism. There is no reason to try to define it by using a single feature or characteristic such as being social in the case of the Web 2.0. The Web is only and solely the Web just like a human being is a human being even if we are taller, more educated, and more tech-savvy than a century ago for example.
So what is the internet nowadays and what is it going to be in the near future?
Internet has evolved from a network of connected machines to a network of connected humans. We are now almost forgetting that we are using the internet. It is truly fantastic how such a technology entered our life and almost blended with it. When somebody sends you a message on Facebook and your smartphone pushes you a notification you don’t think about the internet, which is the technology enabling this event to happen. The only thing you can think about in such a situation is the friend who tries to communicate with you through this social network. To me it is really magical how we managed to domesticate this technology and to use it almost effortlessly and intuitively. It is not a web 2.0 but a web we’re using to accomplish many tasks without even thinking about it. It is true that it has transformed into a network of connected individuals but that isn’t what’s defining it at all. We can’t name the internet and we surely can’t name what it is going to be in the future. We can have a vision of what it will help us to achieve and that’s it.
To my mind, I believe of the return of the machines but not in the way they were present during the early days of the internet. They are going to interact with us in an intelligent way and provide us with useful information without having to do anything on our side. Internet is going to evolve into a network of people whose environments are also connected to the Web through devices linked to the network. This will multiply the possibilities and capacities of our connected world in a way that we haven’t seen before. Hardware is going to be once again at the forefront of innovation.
This is just a quick thought, which was going through my mind today. If you have any definition of the internet and some thoughts about its direction don’t hesitate to write it as a comment.