In the early 1990’s into the turn of the century, technology came a long way. The internet was conceived, and development of infrastructure ramped up, to produce content throughout the world that could be housed and transmitted over this medium. This is where the term web came about. “Web 1.0” was a “retronym” for the initial stages of the World Wide Web, or internet. This time-frame focused on creating content for the end user and utilized the first static webpages hosted on computer servers to showcase work.
The World Wide Web, in historical terms, was the “information system where documents and other web resources were identified by Uniform Resource Locators or URLs.” These URLs were then linked together with hyperlinks, or links that were accessible over the internet. These links were then shortened or made easier to comprehend, hence domains replaced internet protocol or IP addresses. When a user wanted to visit a website, they no longer needed to type in an IP, for example 188.8.131.52. They typed in a domain address like google.com.
Web 1.0 saw the evolution of HTML, or HyperText Markup Language. This language was the programming code for all that one saw on the internet. If a user typed in google.com, they were taken to the google “website”, which in the “backend” or servers, housed the index.html site (the default page). To go back, a website is “a group of World Wide Web pages usually containing hyperlinks to each other and made available online by an individual, company, educational institution, government, or organization.”
Content on the web was becoming more diverse, with GIFs or Graphics Interchange Format; most notably the dancing baby that circulated the internet in the 1990’s. A slice together of multiple pictures that allowed for a motion generated image. With 1.0, came more advanced filesystems rather than databases that managed content. Free webhosting was at the forefront, where anyone could have developed a website in the likes of GeoCities and Tripod. Online pop ups became the scourge of the internet.
Finally, emails became more personable, and relatable with the ability to embed HTML into the messages. Server-side scripting, or code that was housed on the server hosting the code, was available. This also meant the scripts or code “produced a response customized for each user's (client's) request to the website.” Compared to the “client-side scripting” that ran on a web browser in a user’s computer.
At this time in history, AOL, and Yahoo became the dinosaurs of the internet. Some important features of Web 2.0 included the ability to form connections. This meant users could “link to other users who are “friends,” membership in “groups” of various kinds, and subscriptions or RSS feeds of “updates” from other users.” Emails became more advanced and incorporated rich content like videos and API or Application Programming Interface that “was a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other.” This allowed for content creators and administrators to reach for other ways of integrating marketing, data collaboration, sharing, and big data.
Some said that Web 2.0 was the blogging, podcasting, vlogging generation, that blew up the ability to communicate, and gather information on any subject. This was groundbreaking and lead to the data sharing revolution. From millions of users to billions of users, opened the world up to all around the globe.
The turn of around mid-2010’s developed more data resonant infrastructure and technology. Unfortunately, it exploded, and privacy was a key issue when it came to data integrity and security. Times had changed, and needed a new evolution, which presented Web 3.0.
Still in its infancy, Web 3.0 is the buzz word for the latest advancement in internet and data technology. The web is comprised of several key changes, which are:
- Data Integrity and Security
- Networking and Infrastructure
- Data Ownership
- Non-Interruptible Services
- Blockchains and Digital Asset Management
- Semantic Web
In a nutshell, the web is organized into more decentralized, user friendly, private, and secure enclaves for data owned by the creators.
Terms like artificial intelligence, big data, and blockchain have become reality. The 3.0 environment will “be more intuitive and will make them more accessible for people to use in their daily lives.” The breaking point from 2.0 to 3.0 was the inception of blockchain and cryptocurrency stacks. It became the first to incorporate decentralization or “the transfer of control of an activity or organization to several local offices or authorities rather than one single one.”
With decentralization, came the privacy and security measures, which allowed blockchains like Ethereum, Hyperledger, etc. to facilitate control back to the user. Networks utilized two factor authentication, and distributed technology. Distributed, that meant “a system whose components are located on different networked computers, which communicate and coordinate their actions by passing messages to one another from any system.” Some examples of this technology were peer to peer networks, massive multiplayer games, and virtual private networks or VPN.
Interoperability allowed sharing of data between devices across the spectrum. Now, smart phones can relay data to TVs, or desktops can save data to a tablet. This would also pave the way to the Internet of Things, or IoT, which allowed for smart driving vehicles, watches, medical equipment, etc. With Web 3.0, has opened capabilities to sell data to corporations, and earn from it.
In the internet spectrum, semantic web had been evolved, semantic meant “shared across multiple systems, platforms, and community boundaries. It will act as a bridge between different data formats and platforms.” Ubiquity had been developed because of interoperability, and “can access data and information across multiple applications without the need for a particular device.” As far as accessing all of this information, came dApps, or decentralized applications. Those dApps, would have very little impact on user learning curves, but in the background, would work on a blockchain, and transactions of data would “be signed and verified before being committed.” Some examples of dApps would have been social networks, messaging, insurance or banking, storage, etc.
Some of the examples of Web 3.0 applications and networks in action are:
Sapien - https://www.sapien.network/.
Dedicated to promoting human agency and well-being in social networks.
Steemit - https://steemit.com/.
Users can gain a cryptocurrency, STEEM, for publishing and curating content.
IDEX - https://idex.io/.
Buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency on the world's most advanced cryptocurrency exchange.
OSM | Obsidian Secure Messenger – Google Play or IoS Applications
E-Chat - https://echat.one/.
Free online random chat rooms where you can anonymously meet strangers from all around the world.
ySign - https://ysign.app/.
Decentralized messenger based on blockchain technology.
Storj - https://www.storj.io/.
Decentralized cloud object storage for developers.
Sia - https://sia.tech/.
Decentralized cloud storage platform. No signups, no servers, no trusted third parties. Sia leverages blockchain technology to create a data storage marketplace that is more robust and more affordable than traditional cloud storage providers.
Cashaa - https://cashaa.com.
Online Banking platform to manage fiat and crypto.
Livepeer - https://livepeer.org/.
Decentralized video streaming network built on the Ethereum blockchain.
LBRY - https://lbry.com/.
An open, free, and fair network for digital content.
Maestro - https://www.maestro.io/.
An interactive video platform that merges content, commerce, and community into one.
Brave - https://brave.com/.
Browse privately. Search privately. And ditch Big Tech.
Beaker Browser - https://beakerbrowser.com/.
An experimental peer-to-peer Web browser.
In conclusion, Web 3.0 was and is the latest and greatest currently. Web 4.0 was the future of possible flexible monitoring software, and applications that could be adapted with smart technology imprinted in IoT devices instead of servers. It is all speculation at this point. But crypto blockchain technology, big data, artificial intelligence, and privacy are at the forefront of Web 3.0 for the next decade.
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