Unfortunately, to understand Web 3.0, people need to first understand Web 2.0. A difficult enough task in itself, but luckily there is a simple enough analogy to help clarify.
Before the term Web 2.0 first surfaced in 1999, the internet can be described as being similar to a huge library; there is access to a wealth of information, but only if you know where to find it. The worldwide web offered a completely passive experience for the user, and if it did not have what you were looking for, then tough luck.
Web 2.0 was not a change in technical specification of the worldwide web, but a change in the philosophy of software developers and web users. It brought a deluge of user-generated web content in the form of social networking sites, such as Facebook, blogs, wikis and video sharing sites, such as YouTube. These allowed all web users to dictate which information was available through interaction and collaboration. They no longer wanted to use the web solely as an information database, rather they wanted to use the web as a virtual meeting room to hear and exchange ideas.
The hypothetical library turned into an extremely busy library come convention center.
New Kid on the Block
12 years later, Web 3.0 is another web revolution in the offing, and necessary because the web is now flooded with so much interaction and collaboration, that it is even more difficult for users to find exactly what they are looking for. Web 3.0 means web browsers will know exactly where everything on the internet is and what will appeal most to individual users.
The virtual library is in chaos, clogged with people and media, but help is at hand in the form of Web 3.0. Each member of the library come convention center now has their own personal assistant or librarian, who can give them a very efficient guided tour and make recommendations according to each member’s personal tastes and interests.
Okay, enough with the analogies already.
What will it Mean for Users?
In practical terms, Web 3.0 will allow users to type a complex sentence, such as “Three people want to go on holiday somewhere hot for less than $1,000 dollars each.” into a search engine and get all the results they need in one single search.
Moreover, individual relevance will be directly proportional to how frequently the search engine is used; with every search, web browsers learn more about an individual’s tastes and interests, so every search brings more accuracy to individual preference.
In other words, Web 3.0 brings a better web experience to the user for less effort. Web users will no longer struggle against information overload, and can enjoy their own customized version of the web with all of the ‘noise’ filtered out.