Monday, June 08, 2009

Five Web Trends Into 3.0 (1)

It is said that Web 3.0 is coming. I agree to the point. However, what is Web 3.0 indeed? Few people have the answer. But there are five Web trends that may help us peek into the core of this next generation Web. In a five-post series I am glad to share my thinking of the five trends in this blog.

1) Personal space, converging

From homepage to site profile, the evolution from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 is also a process of the divergence of the personal home spaces. In Web 1.0, a Web user generally uses a homepage to claim his Web existence. In Web 2.0, however, a Web user often have varied profiles in multiple Web sites, while each of the profiles may (nearly identically) claim his Web existence. Intuitively the progress likes that a single, uniform homepage has been transformed respectively to multiple, varied personal accounts, each of which is settled with respect to a particular Web site. The personal home space diverges.

This personal space divergence was necessary for fostering Web 2.0 because it allowed the Web 2.0 entrepreneurs the flexibility of creating the variety of social networking products. Hence it facilitated the growth of Web 2.0.

On the other hand, the divergence also leads to a few problems. With the mature of Web 2.0, Web users are required to remember more pairs of the login/password for their registered sites. In addition, if there are Web 2.0 sites functioning similarly and the users want to use both (a common case in Web 2.0, for example, to use both of and Twine for bookmarking), it is uneasy for the users to synchronize the same information in the varied sites simultaneously. The barrier becomes especially severe when the users try to update some basic information in the profiles (such as change an address), despite the message is common to all the sites. In short, Web 2.0 has inevitably led to producing a huge amount of duplicated information fragments in the Web and it is very hard to synchronize these fragments.

To solve this problem is thus a major request for Web 3.0. OpenID is such an attempt by unifying the logins in the Web. We can predicate that the adoption of OpenID must prevail continuously in the age of Web 3.0.

But OpenID is not the whole solution. The ideal solution to the problem is to have the diverged home spaces be converged back to a new form of the unified personal spaces as if the Web 1.0 homepages. Yet we still have fairly a distance to implement such a solution, it is the first trend into Web 3.0. Only through this transformation, we may eventually declare Web 3.0, a new stage of the Web that is essentially distinct to Web 2.0.

Continuing the series The Path Towards Next Generation, No. 2
Next installment: Five Web Trends Into 3.0 (2)

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