The web has become an integral part of our life: it both defines the way we communicate, perceive, and consume information – and is defined by it. Of course, during this time, Lee’s idea has transformed greatly. So far, we’ve witnessed two eras of web evolution and are entering the third; let’s see which ideas, trends, and moods are characteristic of them.
Web 1.0, or Static Web
This version was mostly read-only: there was a small group of content creators and a much bigger community of passive consumers.
The main purpose of Web 1.0 was to present information. And while that might not sound too impressive today, back then, it opened up a plethora of new opportunities: in particular, let brick-and-mortar shops sell their goods to a broader audience, marking the beginning of e-commerce.
Web 2.0, or Social Web
This was about connecting people. It started the era of interactive social media platforms based on user-generated content, such as Facebook, Youtube, or MySpace. Blogs and comments, trolling and flaming, LOLs and XDs – and, by the way, social journalism – all originated at that time.
With Web 2.0, users got a chance to post content and update content as often as they wanted. In addition, the content itself became more dynamic, shifting from plain text with pictures to other mediums (videos, flash content, etc.).
Web 3.0, or Semantic Web
However, as we’ve seen from the scandal around Facebook and Brexit, there is a risk that someone will manipulate information for their benefit. This explains the trend towards decentralization: with blockchain technology, we get the power to make the web of tomorrow more fair, open, and unbiased.
Where do you think we are going next? What will Web 4.0 be about?