What Is Web 3.0? [2023 guide to Web 1.0 vs Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0]

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Net 1.0 vs Net 2.0 vs Net 3.0

To grasp what Net 3.0 is, or might be, we first want to have a look at what Net 1.0 and a couple of.0 have been; in spite of everything, how do we all know the place we’re going if we don’t know the place we’ve been?

Net 1.0: The Previous

Net 1.0, the primary publicly accessible web, is the online that happened within the late ’90s. Should you have been round in these days, you in all probability bear in mind the screech of modems and that bizarre bouncy sound. You’ll in all probability additionally bear in mind having to pay by the minute on your bandwidth, and that you simply couldn’t use the web and the telephone (after all a landline) on the identical time.

The net was additionally very totally different. It was usually much more static. Web sites normally weren’t very interactive, merely displaying info. Hyperlinks that directed you to different pages, both on or off the location, have been about as interactive because it bought. You visited a website, learn up on some info, noticed a couple of pictures and that was it; you’ll see it known as the read-only internet.

Net 1.0 was additionally extremely decentralized, as most websites have been owned by people or precise brick-and-mortar companies. Whereas there have been some internet-only enterprises, these have been extra exception than rule. That stated, whereas the web again then might have been static, in some methods it was much more different than it’s now, with individuals making an attempt out new issues on a regular basis.

Net 2.0: The Current

Sooner or later the read-only internet turned a read-write internet. As with all gradual modifications, it’s exhausting to pinpoint precisely when it occurred. Nevertheless, we will safely say it was underway by 2004, when the time period Net 2.0 was popularized by entrepreneur Tim O’Reilly in the course of the Net 2.0 Summits he organized from 2004 to 2011.

tim oreilly 2008

Tim O’Reilly in 2008.

As a substitute of being a spot the place you’d choose up some info after which depart, the online turned a spot the place you might work together with websites. You might nonetheless discover info, after all, however the hurdles to creating your individual content material turned loads decrease. 

For instance, one thing as commonplace as a Fb wall, the place web customers can depart a submit after which others can provide their opinion on it, would have been not possible below the Net 1.0 paradigm. In Net 2.0, although, these sorts of interactions are an on a regular basis prevalence.

Net Pages’ Company Takeover

Nevertheless, there’s a shadow solid over Net 2.0: the place Net 1.0 typically felt like one thing cobbled collectively by hobbyists within the spirit of enjoyable, Net 2.0 is much more company. Most of the websites lauded as examples of the brand new wave, like Fb, Twitter and Google, are additionally answerable for altering the online in methods no person might have foreseen.

For instance, whereas the online was by no means free from surveillance, the large networks constructed up by the tech giants to squeeze every penny of ad revenue they will get is a terrifying actuality. Whereas Net 2.0 is extra interactive, it’s additionally pulling us additional in with focused promoting, treating us much less like honored friends and extra like objects to be exploited for revenue.

Having an increasing number of energy flowing to only a handful of gamers additionally signifies that the online is much more centralized than it was again within the outdated days. Although internet customers’ enter might have elevated, the online itself is extra of the identical. 

What Is Net 3.0?

The ability of the online giants, nevertheless, just isn’t going unchallenged. At present, there are various good individuals the world over dreaming up options to the online as it’s now. Although we’re poor prognosticators ourselves, there are a couple of normal threads we will determine. Let’s go over three of them.

1. Web3: The Crypto Catalyst

Most likely the very first thing most individuals consider once they hear Net 3.0 is a brand new internet that’s centered round blockchain, cryptocurrency and associated internet applied sciences. Often referred to as Web3, it’s a libertarian imaginative and prescient of the online that may, on paper no less than, be extremely decentralized like Net 1.0, however give individuals the identical enter as Net 2.0.

Before everything, Web3 is a financialized web the place decentralized finance (DeFi) holds sway. Offers for content material could be made between individuals inside decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) with good contracts after which written onto the blockchain so the phrases and situations might be inspected at any time by anyone. 

Cryptocurrency could be how the whole lot — from user-generated content material to decentralized VPNs — could be paid for. Digital property like NFTs are naturally additionally part of this new ecosystem and would each function collectibles in addition to membership badges to on-line golf equipment. Crypto would even be how all people would pay to promote and entry knowledge.

The net as envisioned by crypto fanatics sounds attention-grabbing, as it could be fully within the palms of customers. In some situations — don’t overlook that there isn’t a single imaginative and prescient of Web3 as, properly — even centralized servers could be performed away with. As a substitute, we’d use decentralized knowledge networks, powered by internet-connected devices to entry the online.

The Web3 Draw back

As cool as this all sounds, the utopia of Web3 appears to have been overtaken by occasions, and badly, too. The 2022 crypto crash put the deceive the concept cryptocurrency can be utilized for any sort of transaction. Plus, how decentralized is a decentralized autonomous group actually if a small group of individuals can easily pull all the power inside it to themselves?

On high of that, you might argue that Web3 would truly make data mining worse than it’s now. Whereas blockchain expertise does allow larger transparency, having all that info out within the open additionally makes it a lot simpler to mine utilizing machine studying algorithms. On this state of affairs, the information wouldn’t even be anonymized.

You might argue that on this crypto-fuelled Web3, we’d solely be swapping out one set of overlords — search engines like google and yahoo and social media giants — with one other, particularly billionaire libertarians and crypto fanatics. Until you’re in a kind of teams, that doesn’t sound too appetizing. May there be one other different?

2. The Semantic Net: Tim Berners-Lee’s Imaginative and prescient

Whereas loads of individuals have concepts for what Net 3.0 would appear like other than a crypto utopia, probably the most cohesive and coherent imaginative and prescient comes from Tim Berners-Lee, the person credited with inventing the World Broad Net.

berners lee 2008

Tim Berners-Lee in 2008.

Berners-Lee has two concepts, each of which work with one another. The primary is the Semantic Web, an web by which knowledge is linked throughout all the internet and skim by machines. The aim is to attach knowledge higher, then make higher synthetic intelligence to learn it and thus create an web that may course of and create info faster.

One instance of the Semantic Net in motion could be smarter search outcomes: as an alternative of placing in a key phrase and getting a bunch of knowledge, not all of which is beneficial to you, you might use pure language to search out what you’re on the lookout for. The AI would be capable of filter out the chaff, and hopefully you’d get a lot smarter outcomes. 

Trying Strong

The opposite prong for a extra decentralized internet that Berners-Lee proposes is to store all our personal data in so-called pods. Every one in all us might then decide what info could be within the pods, and who might entry it. His firm Solid is engaged on implementing this concept.

What this could imply for individuals is that their info is not simply floating on the market, able to be grabbed by anyone with the power. As a substitute, you might tightly management your individual knowledge, and corporations like Meta, Facebook’s parent company, and Google wouldn’t be capable of get to it. 

This might be actual decentralization that doesn’t depend on tokens or blockchains: what’s in a pod can solely be revealed when its proprietor means that you can. Additionally, it takes away the financialization of knowledge, which might take away a few of the dog-eat-dog practices we see on the present internet.

3. One other Choice: The Metaverse

Each these choices have their execs and cons. Nevertheless, each to a sure extent assume that the online received’t change in any significant manner: we’ll maintain interacting with it the best way we at all times have, by a display screen the place we learn info from. What if that’s not the rule transferring ahead?

Mark Zuckerburg’s Meta, for instance, is making a virtual reality version of the online by which our avatars will stroll round and alternate info with different avatars. Although the primary few seems to be we’ve had have been disappointing, there’s no saying how this can develop in future.

In fact, if the concept does take off, perhaps we’ll have a metaverse that exists alongside the web, or one that’s intertwined with it. Possibly Meta’s metaverse shall be all of it, or only a small half. Both manner, it could change the best way we use the web irrevocably. 

Each the concepts of Berners-Lee in addition to these of crypto evangelists might apply to this new metaverse, however in very other ways.


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