The evolution of web-based applications is continuing, but has this evolution yet come to a place where the term “web 3.0” is needed? According to the article “The Third-Generation Web is Coming” by Nova Spivack:

The threshold to the third-generation Web will be crossed in 2007. At this juncture the focus of innovation will start shift back from front-end improvements towards back-end infrastructure level upgrades to the Web. This cycle will continue for five to ten years, and will result in making the Web more connected, more open, and more intelligent. It will transform the Web from a network of separately siloed applications and content repositories to a more seamless and interoperable whole.

While I agree the emergence of web-applications that include more artificial intelligence and software-based analysis and processing of user contributed information would be qualitatively different from most of the web 2.0 applications and services available today, I am hesitant to embrace a new “web 3.0” term for these anticipated developments. The Kurtzweil group definitely provides interesting reading from a futurist perspective, but I’m inclined to think it’s premature to get excited about or even start using a term like “web 3.0” to define anticipated developments in web-based applications.

I did appreciate the use of different WikiPedia links in this article, however. I scanned content on the WikiPedia “Open Data” page with particular interest, because of my own recent work in this area (“The Ethic of Open Digital Content”) and ongoing interests. For what it’s worth, I added a link to this article on the WikiPedia “Open Content” page.

I hope this predication by Nova Spivack comes to pass. We need a more connected, interoperable, and intelligent web-based environment for collaboration and idea sharing. As school districts purchase new software programs, student information systems, or upgrades for current software solutions, administrators should seek solutions that support web standards and interoperability. Dynamic change will continue to be a defining characteristic of our information environment, and organizations should seek to obtain and utilize solutions that provide flexibility for future changes that may not be anticipated yet.

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