The World Wide Web
Most websites contain the letters “www” in their addresses, but what exactly does “www” stand for and what does it mean? To answer these questions lets start of by looking at a definition from TechTerms.com .
“www” stands for “The World Wide Web” which is a subset of the internet. It links and connects documents together that can be searched on web browsers such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and others. It was first developed between 1989 and 1990 by a scientist with the name Tim Berners-Lee and at the end of 1990 people were able to see the first web page on the internet (World Wide Web Foundation, 2017).
The Evolution of the Web
As the amount of internet users increased daily (from when it was invented), the web and internet were redesigned and changed to accommodate the different users and different devices through the years. The image below shows the different stages/generations of the web from the web 1.0 in the past to web 3.0 that we have today. It also shows the fourth generation known as “Web 4.0” that some believe will be present in the future.
Web 1.0 and Web 2.0
Web 1.0 was the first stage or generation of The World Wide Web and it was primarily read-only and static which means that users could not add or interact with the website. It was known as the “The Information Web”, as seen in the picture above, and was present between the early 1990’s and the year 2000. Web 1.0 was primarily used by companies and personal websites which only showed information. In the year 2000, Web 1.0 transitioned to “read and write web” which was known as Web 2.0.
Web 2.0 was the second stage or generation of the World Wide Web and it was known as “The Social Web” as users were able to not only read websites but also interact and connect with other users. All social media such as Blogs, Facebook, YouTube and many more emerged with Web 2.0 and companies realised the strength of community interaction with business websites. People were able to collaborate on ideas, share information and generate information that was available to whole world. Web 2.0 was present from the year 2000 till 2010 and then it slowly transitioned and evolved into Web 3.0 some say we have today.
What is the Internet of Things?
With web 2.0, the focus was on connection and interaction between people but web 3.0’s focus is primarily on connecting people with devices and vice versa and this is where the term “The Internet of Things” fit in.
The term “The Internet of Things” relates to the interconnection between every day devices and the internet in order for them to send and receive data and it is seen as one of the most important developments of the internet that is closely linked to Web 3.0 and Web 4.0. A very good website that shows a range of devices that connect, send and receive data is Postscapes.com. Examples on the site include activity monitors, infant monitors and wearable alarm buttons.
Web 3.0 – The Semantic Web
Web 3.0 was first mentioned by J.Markoff in the New York Times in 2006 as a generation of web that defines organised or structured data to simplify automation, integration and discovery across multiple applications (“Evolution of The World Wide Web”, 2012). This means that Web 3.0 is not only a read and write web but also a web that focusses on the individual user and machine.
Web 3.0 is known as “The Semantic Web” as it is “An attempt to represent knowledge in a way that allows computers to automatically come to conclusions and make decisions as a result of a certain type of reasoning” (Web 2.0 and beyond: Principles and technologies, 2012, p. 297). In comparison to Web 2.0 that primarily focusses on people, Web 3.0 is an extension that is focused on the intelligent connection between people and machines. Computers can look at, for example, a users google search history, music and many other things to make a personalised advertisement and computers can also use a simple user search in Google such as “Rugby” and give a result of everything rugby related including teams, scores, etc. This third generation of Web is believed to be around till 2020 where it will evolve and change into Web 4.0 and then Web 5.0.
What is the relationship of information architecture to Web 2.0 and 3.0?
Information architecture (IA) relates to the way websites are designed, for information flow and easy interaction between user and website. With Web 2.0, social media is a major focus and information architecture is used in a way to make social media websites such as YouTube and Facebook easy to navigate with the combination of tagging, liking, sharing buttons, search bars and others.
With Web 3.0, IA also relates to how websites are designed but it is seen as an upgrade from Web 2.0 as websites and search engines are more connected to each other. This gives the users more precise information, easier interaction and faster navigation.
(“Do Only Good”,2016)
Web 4.0, Web 5.0 and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the capacity of a computer to communicate, reason and behave just like a human, and this is exactly what, some believe, will be seen with web 4.0 and beyond (Webopedia.com,2017). Web 4.0 or “The intelligent Web” will exist between the years 2020 and 2030 and some believe it will be as intelligent as the human brain. From computers being personal assistants to virtual realities, holograms, all house appliances being connected to the internet (internet of things) and implants to restore vision; highly intelligent interactions between machines and humans will occur (“The Movement of Web from Web 0.0 to Web 5.0”, 2016).
Web 5.0, “The Telepathic Web” or “The Symbionet Web” will be present after the year 2030 and within this highly complex future web generation, some things such as brain implants will be very popular. Brain implants will give people, for example, the ability to communicate with the internet through thought, to think of a question and open up a web page. Any sort of payments, such as groceries, will be paid for with a microchip in the brain or the hand and all devices will be connected to the internet (“The Movement of Web from Web 0.0 to Web 5.0”, 2016).