Category Archives: Web2.0

On defining Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0

Lately Web 3.0 has become a a new label for Semantic Web, first introduced by an article by John Markoff of the New York Times.

Nova Spivack, also refered to in the article is trying to define Web x.0.

Web 1.0 was the first generation of the Web. During this phase the focus was primarily on building the Web, making it accessible, and commercializing it for the first time. Key areas of interest centered on protocols such as HTTP, open standard markup languages such as HTML and XML, Internet access through ISPs, the first Web browsers, Web development platforms and tools, Web-centric software languages such as Java and Javascript, the creation of Web sites, the commercialization of the Web and Web business models, and the growth of key portals on the Web.

Web 2.0. According to the Wikipedia, “Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O’Reilly Media in 20041, refers to a supposed second generation of Internet-based services—such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies—that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users.” I would also add to this definition another trend that has been a major factor in Web 2.0—the emergence of the mobile Internet and mobile devices (including camera phones) as a major new platform driving the adoption and growth of the Web, particularly outside of the United States.

Web 3.0. Using the same pattern as the above Wikipedia definition, Web 3.0 could be defined as: “Web 3.0, a phrase coined by John Markoff of the New York Times in 2006, refers to a supposed third generation of Internet-based services that collectively comprise what might be called ‘the intelligent Web’—such as those using semantic web, microformats, natural language search, data-mining, machine learning, recommendation agents, and artificial intelligence technologies—which emphasize machine-facilitated understanding of information in order to provide a more productive and intuitive user experience.”

This definition is rather harmless, however Spivak goes on expanding this definition to include broadband, mobile, sas, web services, p2p, open source, open id etc. Why don’t also include RFID, software to prevent global warming and world hunger. IMO we’re putting all new trends into a new label effectivly fuling a hype to be bursted and drag everything that is asossiated with the name down with it.

Personally I’d stick to the “Semantic Web” or “Data Web”.

Yahoo! using RDF for pipes!!!

Yahoo has been working on RDF for a long time, at least from when a key RDF community guy, Dave Beckett, was hired in 2005.  Now it is out of the box what they’ve been playing with . A great new mashup tool called yahoo! pipes allows you to create your own mashups by combinding data from various sources as flickr, deli.cio.us and more.

Most interesting is the fact that you can combind it with RDF! This allows any source to be included as long as you allow your data to be exposed in RDF. What innovation this will create is beyond my imagination, but I’m sure it will be huge!  I’ll be back here with some examples of how RDF can be used in this tool, in the mean time why don’t you have a look yourself.

Flickr’s Machine Tags

A few months ago Flickr, the photo sharing site, announced geo tags. Geo tags let the user specify the longitude and latitude of a picture (e.g, “geo:long=123.456”), resulting in the ability of displaying photos on a yahoo map.

This month Flickr goes further announcing Flickr machine tags creating semantic rich tags that resembles a poor man’s RDF.

As Dan Catt writes

“They are called “Machine Tags” because we expect them to generally be added by automated systems and later sucked up and processed by machines. “

What is then the difference with this and RDF?

For one thing while RDF relies on a specifying properties though URIs (e.g. http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/firstName abbrevated to foaf:firstName), they are formally described in a vocabulary (or ontology). Machine tags (the way I’ve understood it) however are not defined anywhere, but rather up to the community to define through use. It is however likely that communities will create useful tags-sets for their respective domains and interests. And most important it will bootstrap the Semantic Web as machine tags could quite easily be converted into RDF triples. Exiting stuff.