Business, organisations, Social media

The Evolution of the World Wide Web

It’s hard to imagine life without the web with all its content and knowledge available at our finger tips. It has extensively become a part of our everyday lives, we walk around with it in our back pockets. Talking to friends on facebook, attending to an urgent email while brushing your teeth, or researching your topic for next week’s meeting…..However have you ever wondered whats next? The web has become so dynamic, changing on a daily basis. If you have asked this question you have most probably come across the term web 3.0, or semantic web. I will be taking you through the evolution of the world wide web and what we can “guess at best”  the future will hold.


Web vs Internet

Before we kick of with how the web has transformed over the years, we first need to emphasize that internet and the web is not the same thing. The world wide web refers to a large collection of documents and content based on hypertext. In order for the web to be useful, it requires a client server/browser that requests information from web servers who in turn sends the information request back to browser where you see constructed data presented in a readable format.

Web 1.0

Back in early 1900’s we would say that we found that on the web, by this we meant we “googled” the topic, followed the hyperlink and was directed to a document containing the information we wanted. In order to receive this information in a manner we can understand, web 1.0 uses mark up language HTML, the building blocks of web pages. Web 1.0 simplified the physical storage and network layers involved in the exchange of information between machines. The web was very much static, referred to by Berners-Leeas as a read-only web. It was a place of information, commonly used by business to inform their customers.


Web 2.0

A decade later we saw the emergence of web 2.0, a platform where it was all about the people, collaboration and sharing of information. Dale Dougherty referred to web 2.0 as the read-write web. Web 2.0 is about user generated content, with people consuming information as well as contributing information. Key features of web 2.0 is that it is a social web with online platforms and tools where people can socialize, share ideas, perspectives and experiences. It is a rich internet application (RIA), which is a web application delivered by way of site specific browsers such as javascript. Web 2.0 uses a large number of technologies and standards such as AJAXand  XHTML.

Web 3.0

Web 3.0 also known as semantic web is not a new web but an extension to the existing web. As web 1.0 simplified the physical storage and network layering involved in information exchange, semantic web simplifies the document and application layers involved in the sharing of information. It connects facts, so instead of simply being directed to the document, you are instead presented with the specific information within that document. Where web 2.0 is concerned with humans, web 3.0 is concerned with data and machines The semantic web aims to eliminate human intervention or at least some of it, so that computers can understand data in such a way to search, collect and combine information on the web. Standards used by web 3.0 are:

With the ability to start the HRV system through your smartphone while sitting at your work desk, we might say we are already experiencing web 3.0. Although we are still a long way from artificial intelligence, I think we are still to be surprised by the power of the world wide web and all it has to offer.


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