Largely marketing terms that represent conceptual notions of the web, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 are expertly explained in this video. Note that the semantic web is thought to not be emerging as quickly in this clip, however, the rate of change and associated adoption of semantic technologies will outpace what is anticipated here. The web will ultimately become aware and intelligent and sooner than many think.
Semantic search uses the science of meaning in language—instead of just searching keywords, it checks the context of the words to return more relevant results. Brooke Aker, CEO of Expert System USA, predicts that it will usher in the era of Web 3.0.
The Semantic Web is proving itself as a commercially competitive technology. One that will begin to unlock vast strategic leverage for organizations wise enough to understand, grasp and adopt its capabilities. Read David Provost's recent report titled "On The Cusp A Global Review of the Semantic Web Industry". Also, see David's thesis at MIT on Hurdles in the Business Case for the Semantic Web. Few are as familiar with the implications of the Semantic Web as David Provost. Read his work and begin to wonder, "How will this technology revolutionize the world?"
The next wave of web trends portends what many term web 3.0 or the "semantic web". But what is it exact;y and what does it mean ? Well not everyone is certain - even the experts. Different people think it means different things. Generally, semantic web technologies focus on processing metadata. The metadata is processed using ontologies. Ontologies define the relationships, the rules and the logic that apply to the metadata.
Using Semantic Web technologies, metadata is given a well-defined meaning enabling computers to process higher-level “knowledge” about the data.
For example, the statement "John is the son of William" if defined in a genealogical ontology would allow the system to infer an additional relationship - William is the father of John. what results is an increasing ability for machine to turn content into meaning and thus being able to perform for the user functions that are more highly tuned to the needs of users, based on their behaviors.
For those still having trouble with the Semantic Web concept, think of the world's databases turned inside out and exposed for all others to explore, extend and remix: the hooks and loops of a loosely connected "semantic" velcro, thus enabling the "machine" to deliver experience better and more functionally for the user. It means figuring out how to make all that data more easy to understand and interpret - unlocking power and relevance of the web to a higher level with good and potentially terrifying implications.
For expert interpretation of web 3.0 trends please see Sir Tim Berner Lee's conversation on the semantic web below:
A much-read article in the New York Times last November clarified an emerging debate about what would or should be called “Web 3.0”. In it, John Markoff defined Web 3.0 as a set of technologies that offer efficient new ways to help computers organize and draw conclusions from online data, and that definition has since dominated discussions at conferences, on blogs, and among entrepreneurs. "There is a clear understanding that there have to be better ways to connect the mass of data online and interrogate it," says Daniel Waterhouse, a partner at the venture capital firm 3i. Waterhouse calls himself skeptical of the "Web 3.0" hyperbole but has invested in at least one Semantic Web-based business, the U.K. company Garlik. "We're just at the start," he says. "What we can do with search today is very primitive."
Communicating relevant information in a relevant manner is fundamental to delivering experiences that expands ones views and understandings; the essence of the value of the Internet. For some time now, and from now on, content will be the most element. Whether it's a product description or catalog entry, an e-mail dialogue, or Web-marketed hard goods, the ability to deliver the appropriate content to the appropriate recipients is the essence of creating value.
As the Web evolves, it's becoming different, very different. The pursuit of the semantic Web.is a major aspect of the shift and is planned to be integrated in the web 3.0. What the semantic Web's enthusiasts promise is the transformation of documents, videos, e-mails, music, images, everything — into elements of a database. This one database will stretch across, and through, the Web, and will be increasingly searchable in natural language, resulting in more effective searches from far more natural queries, generating far more specific and appropriate results from within Web pages, documents, videos, exclusive of the applications in which they were created or housed, rather than the morass of Web sites and pages that searches return now.
Like mashups on steroids, the difference is that the machines including your tools, programs, and software agents will do the mashing for you and those you are interacting with. For this approach to Web 3.0 to work the way the, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) envisions it, requires the development of "common formats for integration and combination of data drawn from diverse sources" – a true iteration or transformation of the way the Web works.
In short, it will be a Web of data designed or redesigned for interpretation by the machines we use to store and access the data. And that has big implications for the way we'll do things. For examples, humans on the web will be much more effective at identifying and reaching the precise people they want to reach, rather than today's "craft your keywords and trust you'll get proper placement" approach. As browsers, calendars, clipboards grow more familiar with their users' preferences, histories, and needs, they'll be far likelier to bring relevant content to the users attention as opposed to the current dependence upon carefully crafted keywords vying to catch the attention of a search engine.
What this evolution of the Web truly represents, is another step to intelligence being created in the machines, making our lives simpler and more rich and changing everything about what we do and how we do it.