Saturday, October 04, 2008

Revisiting Web 3.0, When Web Sites Become Web Services

Today I happened to revisit a popular post written by Alex Iskold at March 2007. In the post, Alex claimed that Web 3.0 might be realized when the major Web sites have transformed themselves into Web services. After more than one year and a half, it is interesting to check how well this claim is realized in the real life.

From one aspect, the prediction is becoming true. During this past one and a half year, many Web sites have started to reform themselves into Web services. One typical example is Yahoo. Yahoo was the representative of the traditional Web portal philosophy. By the most recent Y!OS proposal and the release of SearchMonkey and BOSS, however, Yahoo has rapidly transformed much of its original site into Web services. If even Yahoo has made this change, it is convincible to tell that the transformation is close to its successful ending.

In the original post, Alex has worried about the legal issue of Web scraping that may be a result of this transformation. The real world practices show that this worry is probably unnecessary. By transforming a site into services, the site owners actually often gain more (instead of less) control over the site content. Through service design the site owners may more actively prevent external users from illegally copying the information that is not free for sharing.

On the other hand, the Web is still at its 2.0 stage though all the predicted changes are happening. Even after the major sites have already transformed themselves into Web services, Web 3.0 is still an unknown future.

We must have missed something. By just transforming sites into services, the original Web sites actually have not provided anything significantly new to the users. Therefore, how could the Web be entering a new age without a new revolution? This is why the transformation, despite of its inevitability, is not enough to trigger the transition into Web 3.0.

We are still waiting.

No comments: