07 January, 2009

Web 3.0 Basics

Internet experts think Web 3.0 is going to be like having a personal assistant who knows practically everything about you and can access all the information on the Internet to answer any question. Many compare Web 3.0 to a giant database. While Web 2.0 uses the Internet to make connections between people, Web 3.0 will use the Internet to make connections with information. Some experts see Web 3.0 replacing the current Web while others believe it will exist as a separate network.

It's easier to get the concept with an example. Let's say that you're thinking about going on a vacation. You want to go someplace warm and tropical. You have set aside a budget of $3,000 for your trip. You want a nice place to stay, but you don't want it to take up too much of your budget. You also want a good deal on a flight.

With the Web technology currently available to you, you'd have to do a lot of research to find the best vacation options. You'd need to research potential destinations and decide which one is right for you. You might visit two or three discount travel sites and compare rates for flights and hotel rooms. You'd spend a lot of your time looking through results on various search engine results pages. The entire process could take several hours.

Your Life on the Web
If your Web 3.0 browser retrieves information for you based on your likes and dislikes, could other people learn things about you that you'd rather keep private by looking at your results? What if someone performs an Internet search on you? Will your activities on the Internet become public knowledge? Some people worry that by the time we have answers to these questions, it'll be too late to do anything about it.

According to some Internet experts, with Web 3.0 you'll be able to sit back and let the Internet do all the work for you. You could use a search service and narrow the parameters of your search. The browser program then gathers, analyzes and presents the data to you in a way that makes comparison a snap. It can do this because Web 3.0 will be able to understand information on the Web.

Right now, when you use a Web search engine, the engine isn't able to really understand your search. It looks for Web pages that contain the keywords found in your search terms. The search engine can't tell if the Web page is actually relevant for your search. It can only tell that the keyword appears on the Web page. For example, if you searched for the term "Saturn," you'd end up with results for Web pages about the planet and others about the car manufacturer.

A Web 3.0 search engine could find not only the keywords in your search, but also interpret the context of your request. It would return relevant results and suggest other content related to your search terms. In our vacation example, if you typed "tropical vacation destinations under $3,000" as a search request, the Web 3.0 browser might include a list of fun activities or great restaurants related to the search results. It would treat the entire Internet as a massive database of information available for any query.