What is Web 3.0 10:44 on Thursday

A blue-sky thought inspired by Nicholas Carr’s post on Web 3.0:

Yes, Web 3.0 is about data “in the cloud” and available anywhere on any device. But it’s not about APIs and fetching stuff from databases like images from Flickr or locations from Google Maps or people from Facebook. It’s not about a single provider collecting information, storing it in a way the provider has specified, and granting access to it through an interface the provider has specified, too.

Web 3.0 is about the web being the database. There’s no API that specifies what “fields” or “data items” you can request. There’s no rigid rules on where and how to store information. Basically this means, every data request is a search. Good for Google.

Or maybe that’s Web 4.0. There’s nothing ground breaking there, really. It’s just semantic web and microformats etc. all over again.

But there’s an interesting consequence affecting how we think about data. We’ve come to rely on databases returning us information quite reliably. If we put in data, we assume, or we know, we’re going to get it out of the database when we request it.

With the web as the “database”, the results are inherently unreliable. A web server providing a single “record” from this global “database” might be down, a misconfiguration might cause the server to return errors instead of the “record”, the site containing the information might have been redesigned, etc. We don’t know. And I believe we will get used to it.

3 Responses to “What is Web 3.0”


  1. Janne Says:

    Oh, but that’s just crap. Every single person with an agenda seems to be calling their utopian world “Web 3.0″. The semantic web folks started it first, but most people luckily have understood how lame it is to be calling anything “Web 3.0.”

    It’s so cheap to be visionary and call whatever comes after “Web 2.0″ “Web 3.0″. Especially since we don’t even have a Web 2.0. We just have a Web.

  2. PA Says:

    Some consider it cheap when one tries be visionary but the only contribution is the remark that there are no version numbers in the web…

    (Not necessarily you but in general.)

  3. Niko Says:

    There’s a lesson to be learnt here: I think the version numbering is so hilarious that I use it with a smirk on my face, and forget people don’t see my face when they read this blog. (That’s probably a good thing. ;)

    Just to remind of the stupidity of the numbering, I hereby propose we will from now on write all forthcoming versions of web as follows: Web 3.0.