Web X.0: A Road Map

Web X.0: A Road Map

San Murugesan
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-384-5.ch001
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The Web has evolved from its humble beginnings merely as a publishing medium intended for a small group of scientists to a medium of interaction, participation, and collaboration. It has dramatically influenced almost every sphere of our activity and has created paradigm shifts. Encompassing new technologies, business strategies, and social trends, the Web continues to forge many new applications that we had never imagined before or were not previously feasible. It has created new paradigms in business, social interaction, governance, and education. In this chapter, we trace the Web’s continuing evolution and phenomenal strides, outline the features and characteristics of Web 2.0, 3.0, and X.0, and examine their prospects and potential. The ability to recognize new Web technologies for their potential in business, social and educational applications, and the ability to develop and deploy creative applications based on these technologies are the keys to continued success of the Web and our progress and well being.
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Web X.0: What Does It Represent

As we pointed earlier, we can set the ongoing Web's evolution into stages: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0, and Web 4.0 (see Figure 1). One way of identifying them based on what they do and who or what is at the core of their action. The first stage, Web 1.0, is about connecting information; Web 2.0 is about connecting people; Web 3.0 is about integrating data, knowledge, and applications on the Web and putting them to work in ways that make the Web more meaningful and about making Web as a collaborative platform; and Web 4.0 is about harnessing the power of human and machine intelligence on a ubiquitous Web, where both people and computers not only interact, but also reason and assist each other in smart ways (Murugesan, 2007c).

Figure 1.

The evolution of the Web, source Murugesan (2007c)


Key Terms in this Chapter

Mashups: A Web mashup is a Web page or Web site that combines information and services from multiple sources on the Web. Similar to music mashups, where artists combine, for example, vocals from one song with the music from another, Web mashups combine information and/or complementary functionality from multiple Web sites or Web applications. A Web mashup server lets you connect, collect, and mash up anything on the Web as well as data on some backend systems. HousingMaps ( http://www.housingmaps.com ) is a typical mashup application. It pulls sales and rental information from the classified advertisement Web site Craigslist ( http://www.craigslist.com ) and displays the listings on interactive maps pulled from Google Maps. Users can drag the map to see what is available for sale or rent in a given region.

Wiki: A wiki is a simple yet powerful Web-based collaborative- authoring (or content-management) system for creating and editing content. It lets anyone add a new article or revise an existing article through a Web browser. Users can also track changes made to an article. The term wiki is derived from the Hawaiian word wikiwiki, which means fast or quick. The user-generated online encyclopedia Wikipedia is a wiki. Wiki offers an elegant collaboration platform for collaborative authoring, project management, new product development, and more.

Web 1.0: The traditional Web is now called Web 1.0. It is primarily one-way publishing medium. It supports online transactions and offers only minimal users interaction. It is also called read-only Web.

Social Network: A virtual place where people create their own space on which they write blogs, post pictures, videos, or music, share ideas, and link to other locations they find interesting, and open up this space for access by their friends and their friends’ friends. Social networks are places to network with like-minded people and businesses. They are powerful and very popular medium for human communication and interaction. They have, indeed, become the one-stop forum for sharing information on anything and everything in a variety of formats. The power and influence of online social networks are truly remarkable. Enterprises, marketers, politicians, and application developers are harnessing this medium in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

Web X.0: It is a generic word to represent the Xth phase in the evolution of the Web.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS): It is a family of Web feed formats used for syndicating content from blogs or Web pages. RSS is an XML file that summarizes information items and links to the information sources. It informs users of updates to blogs or Web sites they're interested in. Web or blog RSS feeds are typically linked with the word “subscribe,” an orange rectangle, or with the letters XML or RSS in an orange box.

Web 3.0: It represents the third phase in the evolution of the Web. It, among other things, supports a machine-facilitated understanding of information on the Web. Web 3.0 is a Semantic Web, a 3D Web, a pervasive Web, a large database presented as Web pages, or a combination of these. Web 3.0 is aimed at addressing the needs of a user in context by rolling up elements such as content, context, community, commerce, vertical or contextual search, and personalization.

Web 4.0: This represents the forth phase in Web’s evolution. The objective of Web 4.0 is to add it further sophistication and higher levels of intelligence. Your software agent(s) roaming on the Internet or simply residing on your computer could reason and communicate with other such agents and systems and work collaboratively to accomplish things on your behalf. It is also known as “intelligent Web” or “smart Web.” Web Squared: It refers to the notion of using Web to address real-world problems. In 2009, Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle, coined this term in order to promote the idea that if we are going to solve the world’s most pressing problems, we must put the power of the Web to work—its technologies, its business models, and perhaps most importantly, its philosophies of openness, collective intelligence, and transparency. They said,” It’s time for the Web to engage the real world. Web meets World—that’s Web Squared.”

Virtual World: A virtual world is a Web-based 3D interactive environment much richer than the traditional Web and looks like a “place” -- a real place or a fanciful one. Most are designed to be created or populated by their users. Users are represented by their avatars, and avatars can navigate and move around the world and communicate with other avatars by text or by voice. A virtual world is also a platform for socializing and community-building. Some virtual worlds, like the real world, have their own functional economy -- a money market for in-world virtual goods and services. Thus, a virtual world, as its name implies, is a world of its own in cyberspace. Virtual worlds have emerged as an online 3D space for a wide range of activities, including gaming, social networking, education and training, marketing, e-business, and so on.

Web 2.0: It represents the second phase in the evolution of the Web, and it’s about harnessing the potential of the Web in a more interactive and collaborative manner with an emphasis on social interaction. It is both a new usage paradigm and a new technology paradigm. It is also a collection of technologies, business strategies, and social trends. As an umbrella term, it encompasses technologies such as AJAX, Ruby, blogs, wikis, mashups, tagging, and social bookmarking, as well as Web feed standards such as RSS and Atom. As an application deployment platform, it makes use of APIs and Web services.

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