Web 3.0

Note: This article was deleted from Wikipedia on 23 February 2009.

Web 3.0 is one of the terms used to describe the evolutionary stage of the Web that follows Web 2.0. Given that technical and social possibilities identified in this latter term are yet to be fully realized the nature of defining Web 3.0 is highly speculative. In general it refers to aspects of the Internet which, though potentially possible, are not technically or practically feasible at this time.

Origin of the term

Following the introduction of the phrase “Web 2.0” as a description of the recent evolution of the Web, the term “Web 3.0” has been introduced to hypothesize about a future wave of Internet innovation. Views on the next stage of the World Wide Web’s evolution vary greatly, from the concept of emerging technologies such as the Semantic Web transforming the way the Web is used (and leading to new possibilities in artificial intelligence) to the observation that increases in Internet connection speeds, modular web applications, and advances in computer graphics will play the key role in the evolution of the World Wide Web. [1]

Proposed expanded definition

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.

Nova Spivack defines Web 3.0 as the third decade of the Web (2010–2020) during which he suggests several major complementary technology trends will reach new levels of maturity simultaneously including:

  • transformation of the Web from a network of separately siloed applications and content repositories to a more seamless and interoperable whole.
  • ubiquitous connectivity, broadband adoption, mobile Internet access and mobile devices;
  • network computing, software-as-a-service business models, Web services interoperability, distributed computing, grid computing and cloud computing;
  • open technologies, open APIs and protocols, open data formats, open-source software platforms and open data (e.g. Creative Commons, Open Data License);
  • open identity, OpenID, open reputation, roaming portable identity and personal data;
  • the intelligent web, Semantic Web technologies such as RDF, OWL, SWRL, SPARQL, GRDDL, semantic application platforms, and statement-based datastores;
  • distributed databases, the “World Wide Database” (enabled by Semantic Web technologies); and
  • intelligent applications, natural language processing[2], machine learning, machine reasoning, autonomous agents.[3]


Research under Spivack’s definition


Web 3.0 has been described as the “executable web”. In the analogy to file system permissions, Web 1.0 was “read-only”, Web 2.0 is “read-write”, and Web 3.0 will be “read-write-execute”. [4] With the still exponential growth of computer power, it is not inconceivable that the next generation of sites will be equipped with the resources to run user-contributed code on them.[citation needed] The “executable web” can morph online applications into Omni Functional Platforms that deliver a single interface rather than multiple nodes of functionality.[5][6]

Network computing

Related to the artificial intelligence direction, Web 3.0 could be the realization and extension of the Semantic web concept. Academic research is being conducted to develop software for reasoning, based on description logic and intelligent agents, for example, the World Wide Mind project.[7] Such applications can perform logical reasoning operations using sets of rules that express logical relationships between concepts and data on the Web.[5] Sramana Mitra differs on the viewpoint that Semantic Web would be the essence of the next generation of the Internet and proposes a formula to encapsulate Web 3.0.[8] Web 3.0 has also been linked to a possible convergence of Service-oriented architecture and the Semantic web.[9] Web 3.0 is also called the “Internet of Services”, i.e. besides the human readable part of the web there will be machine accessible SOA services which can be combined/orchestrated to higher level of services.[10]

Distributed databases

The first step towards a “Web 3.0” is the emergence of “The Data Web” as structured data records are published to the Web in reusable and remotely queryable formats, such as XML, RDF, Website Parse Template and microformats. This is also known as the bottom-up approach.[11] The recent growth of SPARQL technology provides a standardized query language and API for searching across distributed RDF databases on the Web. The Data Web enables a new level of data integration and application interoperability, making data as openly accessible and linkable as Web pages. The Data Web is the first step on the path towards the full Semantic Web. In the Data Web phase, the focus is principally on making structured data available using RDF. The full Semantic Web stage will widen the scope such that both structured data and even what is traditionally thought of as unstructured or semi-structured content (such as Web pages, documents, etc.) will be widely available in RDF and OWL semantic formats. [12] Website parse templates will be used by Web 3.0 crawlers to get more precise information about web sites’ structured content.

Intelligent applications

Web 3.0 has also been used to describe an evolutionary path for the Web that leads to artificial intelligence that can reason about the Web in a quasi-human fashion. Some skeptics regard this as an unobtainable vision. However, companies such as IBM and Google are implementing new technologies that are yielding surprising information such as making predictions of hit songs from mining information on college music Web sites. There is also debate over whether the driving force behind Web 3.0 will be intelligent systems, or whether intelligence will emerge in a more organic fashion, from systems of intelligent people, such as via collaborative filtering services like del.icio.us, Flickr and Digg that extract meaning and order from the existing Web and how people interact with it.[12]

Other potential research

3D spaces

Another possible path for Web 3.0 is towards the 3 dimensional vision championed by the Web3D Consortium. This would involve the Web transforming into a series of 3D spaces, taking the concept realised by Second Life further.[13] This could open up new ways to connect and collaborate using 3D shared spaces.[14]

[edit]Socio-technological research

The inclusion of the concept of a “Web 0.0” as the pre-existing real-world “sensual web” has been proposed. In that context Web 3.0 is the development of a series where integration of technologies for digital networking and processing is digested and non dissociable of the new “real-world”. In this definition, Web 3.0 is “the biological, digital analog web where information is made of a plethora of digital values coalesced for sense and linked to the real-world by analog interfaces.”[15]


This collection of quotations is not encyclopedic and may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards. Please improve this collection of quotations is not encyclopedic and if you can. (July 2008)

In May 2006, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web stated:[16]

People keep asking what Web 3.0 is. I think maybe when you’ve got an overlay of scalable vector graphics—everything rippling and folding and looking misty—on Web 2.0 and access to a semantic Web integrated across a huge space of data, you’ll have access to an unbelievable data resource. —Tim Berners-Lee, A ‘more revolutionary’ World Wide Web

At the Seoul Digital Forum in May 2007, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, was asked to define Web 2.0 and Web 3.0.[17] He responded:

Web 2.0 is a marketing term, and I think you’ve just invented Web 3.0.

But if I were to guess what Web 3.0 is, I would tell you that it’s a different way of building applications… My prediction would be that Web 3.0 will ultimately be seen as applications which are pieced together. There are a number of characteristics: the applications are relatively small, the data is in the cloud, the applications can run on any device, PC or mobile phone, the applications are very fast and they’re very customizable. Furthermore, the applications are distributed virally: literally by social networks, by email. You won’t go to the store and purchase them… That’s a very different application model than we’ve ever seen in computing. —Eric Schmidt

At the Technet Summit in November 2006, Jerry Yang, founder and Chief of Yahoo, stated:[18]

Web 2.0 is well documented and talked about. The power of the Net reached a critical mass, with capabilities that can be done on a network level. We are also seeing richer devices over last four years and richer ways of interacting with the network, not only in hardware like game consoles and mobile devices, but also in the software layer. You don’t have to be a computer scientist to create a program. We are seeing that manifest in Web 2.0 and 3.0 will be a great extension of that, a true communal medium…the distinction between professional, semi-professional and consumers will get blurred, creating a network effect of business and applications. —Jerry Yang

At the same Technet Summit, Reed Hastings, founder and CEO of Netflix, stated a simpler formula for defining the phases of the Web:

Web 1.0 was dial-up, 50K average bandwidth, Web 2.0 is an average 1 megabit of bandwidth and Web 3.0 will be 10 megabits of bandwidth all the time, which will be the full video Web, and that will feel like Web 3.0. —Reed Hastings

See also

  • Web 1.0
  • Web 2.0
  • Buzzword
  • Cloud computing
  • Interactive online characters
  • Semantic advertising


1. ^ Dean Giustini. Web 3.0 and Medicine. British Medical Journal. December 2007.

2. ^ Demonstration of Web 3.0 “Cortex Intelligence”. Cortex Intelligence. December 6, 2007. http://www.cortex-intelligence.com/tech Demonstration of Web 3.0.

3. ^ Nova Spivack (December 17, 2006). “The Third-Generation Web is Coming”. KurzweilAI.net. http://www.kurzweilai.net/meme/frame.html?main=/articles/art0689.html?m%3D3.

4. ^ http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2007/07/web-30-the-dreamer-of-the-vine/ 

5. ^ a b Phil Wainewright (November 29, 2005). “What to expect from Web 3.0”. ZDNet. http://blogs.zdnet.com/SAAS/?p=68.

6. ^ Nicholas Carr (November 11, 2006). “Welcome to Web 3.0”. http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2006/11/welcome_web_30.php.

7. ^ World Wide Mind project

8. ^ Sramana Mitra (2007-02-14). “Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS)”. http://www.sramanamitra.com/blog/572.

9. ^ Lee Provoost, Erwan Bornier (2006-02-10). “Service-Oriented Architecture and the Semantic Web: A killer combination?”. University of Utrecht. http://lee.webcoder.be/papers/sesa.pdf.

10. ^ John Moore (2008-07-09). “What the Heck is Web 3.0?”. RIAspot.com. http://www.riaspot.com/blogs/entry/What-the-Heck-is-Web-3-0.

11. ^ Geoff Soumokil (July 4, 2008). “Web 3.0 & the power of the semantic web”. LifeCapture Interactive. http://www.lifecaptureinc.com/articles/web-3.php.

12. ^ a b John Markoff (November 12, 2006). “Entrepreneurs See a Web Guided by Common Sense”. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/business/12web.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5088&en=254d697964cedc62&ex=1320987600.

13. ^ Andrew Wallenstein (2007-02-13). “Hollywood hot for Second Life”. The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/features/e3i49998ef2b580e2b5461e3dfb1faedb43?imw=Y.

14. ^ Terri Wells (2006-11-29). “Web 3.0 and SEO”. Search Engine News. http://www.seochat.com/c/a/Search-Engine-News/Web-30-and-SEO/.

15. ^ Tristan Zand (June 2006 excerpt). “Web 3.0 back to the real world / back to our senses”. http://www.zzz.ch/bootymachine/web3.0.

16.. ^ Victoria Shannon (2006-06-26). “A ‘more revolutionary’ Web”. International Herald Tribune. http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/05/23/business/web.php. Retrieved on 2006-05-24.

17. ^ Eric Schmidt (May 2007). “speech” (video) in Seoul Digital Forum..

18. ^ Dan Farber & Larry Dignan (November 15, 2006). “TechNet Summit: The new era of innovation”. ZDNet blog. http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=3959.

Categories: Buzzwords | Cloud computing | Web services | World Wide Web | Semantic Web | Databases | Web 2.0 neologisms