web 3.0


11 Things To Know About Semantic Web1. You don’t need to apologize for calling it Web 3.0. Of course the Web does not upgrade in one go like a company switching to Vista. But there is a definite phase transition from current technologies. My personal Web 3.0 definition is “the combination of Web 2.0 mass collaboration with structured databases”.

2. Semantic Web will start the long, slow decline of relational database technology. Web 3.0 enables the transition from “structure upfront” to “structure on the fly”. The world is clearly too complex to structure upfront, despite the tremendous skills brought by data modelers. Structure on the fly is done by people adding structure as they use the service and by engines that automatically create structure from unstructured content. Structure on the fly is very, very hard and RDBMS is very, very entrenched so this will be a long and slow transition; but the decline is inevitable. Innovation has slowed in the RDBMS world – with open source at one end and Oracle at the other, there is little reason to innovate – just when Semantic Web innovation is accelerating. RDBMS was good for enterprise scale performance and reliability but for Internet scale it falls short; just look at what companies like Amazon use.

3. If you have a firm grasp of the theoretical underpinnings of the semantic web, things like RDF, tuples, Sparql and OWL that make my brain hurt, you will be able to charge a fat premium in consulting fees for a while, as not many people really understand this stuff. But make hay while the sun shines, as some entrepreneur will surely figure out how to abstract this stuff and make it accessible for the masses.

4. The success stories will be different from Web 2.0. Just like Web 2.0 success stories were different from Web 1.0 successes. Web 2.0 successes were mostly about a single feature (photos, bookmarks, video, phone, blogging, etc) where there was extremely rapid adoption by consumers. Semantic Web is inherently about integration and those plays tend to be different, longer and much bigger potential.

5. Don’t look for a killer app. That implies a client/consumer win. This is much more likely to be a server/platform/enterprise win. Even if the initial experimentation is done in the consumer domain; Freebase for example looks like a mass Beta test for some enterprise technology that Metaweb wants to release later.

6. As this is a platform play, look for powerful APIs and ways to motivate entrepreneurs to build apps on top, with a clear “show me the money” proposition. Those apps maybe consumer or enterprise focussed.

7. Semantic Web could slow the Google steamroller. This could be like the PC for IBM or the Web for Microsoft. The steamroller’s momentum carries it forward for a very long time and it can build all kinds of wrapper systems around it, but something new always does come along. Google mastered how to give some structure to countless unstructured HTML pages. Semantic Web will gradually make that less critical as the underlying content will be more structured. These big generational changes – mainframe to PC to Web – seem to be happening faster, so it seems about time for another big generational change to start happening.

8. But don’t look for Yet Another Search Engine (YASE) to be the David to Google’s Goliath. Just like PC was not another mainframe and Web was not another PC. Don’t ask me precisely what it will look like; if I did know I would have to kill you if I told you. I just know what it won’t look like

9. Vertical Search is the pragmatist’s Semantic Web. Vertical Search businesses use whatever techniques they need – basic search engines, scrapers, APIs, human editors – to create some meaningful/useful structure in a single domain. Over time these cobbled together pragmatic solutions will be replaced by a semantic web platform, probably by an API that enables human editors to leverage their valuable domain expertise.

10. Tagging is the quietly disruptive technology. Everybody tags. It is the most basic human urge to mark what we find. We do it with Folders in Windows. We do it online with Bookmarks. Specialist tag Microformats such as Hcard and Hcalendar add more structure and we are only at the very start of this wave.

11. Semantic Web will leverage the “community” to add structure and this will use some techniques from first generation Social Networking. But it is very unlikely that Semantic Web will emerge from the walled gardens of current social networking sites. The winners will know how to motivate community to provide structure and will provide the tools that make the structuring so easy that nobody knows they are doing anything so boring as structuring. That is the big lesson from Web 2.0 that will be applied in the Semantic Web.


Rich internet applications are bringing client server functionality to the web and could dominate Web 3.0

Not everyone agrees on exactly what Web 2.0 entails. As with all great buzzwords and concepts, people are already predicting what Web 3.0 will be. Will rich internet applications dominate it?

RIAs are still in their infancy, but when done right they’re incredibly powerful tools. When Google launched Google Maps a few years ago, it opened people’s eyes to the fact that web browsers can do much more than merely display pictures and text.

Currently, there are four mainstream mechanisms being used to develop RIAs.

AJAX/JavaScript: AJAX is a web development technique for using JavaScript with XML to create a rich internet application by dynamically and asynchronously exchanging data in the background without having to refresh the page. Google Maps and Gmail demonstrated what could be done with simple existing technologies like JavaScript and XMLHttpRequest. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! all now promote their own AJAX toolkits to assist in building AJAX-rich media functionality.

Flash/Flex: The first horse in the RIA race was Flash. Adobe/Macromedia with its Flash/Flex infrastructure is still the leader in online video. Combining the programming capabilities of Flex makes an incredibly powerful toolset for creating internet applications. Flash has strong penetration and when used effectively can enhance your website.

Silverlight/.NET: Microsoft is barreling ahead with Silverlight, a browser plug-in to deliver interactive web applications that should be taken seriously. The company launched Silverlight earlier this year and is promoting it heavily to its large partner development network. Silverlight is delivered to a browser via XAML, which is a text-based markup language. This makes it easier for search engines to scan Silverlight vs. Flash.

OpenLaszlo: Finally, even though you don’t see it much, there’s an open-source platform for RIAs called OpenLaszlo. Initially developed as a proprietary system by Laszlo Systems, it was made open source in 2004. Not wanting to be left out of the RIA race, IBM–consistent with its embracing of Linux and other open source–has helped propel OpenLaszlo. The company worked with Laszlo Systems to use the open source Eclipse development platform with OpenLaszlo. Applications for OpenLaszlo can be run in Flash or in DHTML.

One current issue with Flash is that while search engines can index it, they don’t index it as well as with text because Flash is a binary compiled file. That’s why most websites aren’t entirely created in Flash. Accessibility and keyboard navigation can be issues with these rich applications as well. If you don’t have a mouse or can’t use one, then you’ll have problems with these technologies. Also, while the plug-ins have sizable browser penetration, they’re problematic for some users.

What It Means for You
What does all of this mean for business owners in the Web 2.0 era? For the tech entrepreneur it means new opportunities. Many traditional client server applications are being pressured to move their applications to the web. Entrepreneurs can potentially displace client server apps with new innovative web applications. For other entrepreneurs, you have to evaluate your business and what specific benefits you can get from adding rich features to your website.

Ever Evolving
There will be other emerging technologies in the RIA area. The combination of these rich features will help trends like social networking continue to evolve. We’ll likely see many websites with more drag-and-drop-type features in the next few years. The online/offline office also will continue to develop as predominant internet companies compete with Microsoft Office for the next generation office applications. Web applications will continue to become more robust and feature rich than ever before.


Just getting used to Web 2.0? Hang on, because Web 3.0 is about to hit shore.”
That is good article by Mark Henricks. Here it is:

According to Nova Spivack, the next generation of web technology, known variously as the semantic web and Web 3.0, is closer than you think. He has started a company that aims to exploit the next generation of web technology, and he expects to launch his first product this year. Radar Networks, the San Francisco startup Spivack, 37, heads, is in stealth mode, and he won’t say exactly what it has planned except that it won’t compete directly with Google. “We’re working on a different strategy,” he promises. “It’s a game-changing one.”

The idea behind the semantic web is to make data on web pages and in online databases better able to be read and understood by computers and used and shared by different software applications. “The semantic web will do for data what the web did for documents,” Spivack says. “It will make it universally searchable and sharable.” The standard way to organize and present data on the semantic web is described by the Resource Description Framework, or RDF, which plays a role on the semantic web similar to the one HTML plays on the original web.

The Web 3.0 approach to accomplishing at least part of this grand vision is to take Web 2.0-style tagging and formalize and expand it so documents and other web data that now must be interpreted by humans can be read and understood by computers. “It’s about the machine doing more work on your behalf,” says Oren Etzioni, a computer science professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Now, for instance, a human web user might tag a digital photo with vacation and Alaska to let himself and others know what it contains. But another user might tag the same photo with Juneau and summer. In neither case would the tags help a computer figure out what to do with the photo. And most web data does not even have tags, Etzioni notes, which makes it impossible for computers to do a great deal of the work that they could be doing for us.

If, say, all addresses on web pages were tagged using a consistent system, an entrepreneur’s address book software could scan the web to keep it constantly updated with fresh addresses for customers, suppliers and others. If your calendar software could look into your online bank statement, it could automatically let you know when a check will clear. In the extreme version of this vision, all data everywhere could be read and exchanged by any computer program, to the benefit of users.

Doing the same for even a significant fraction of the billions of pages and trillions of bits of data on the web is obviously a tall order. The tools for generating RDF are, at present, costly and hard to use, which is slowing things down and frustrating semantic web visionaries. “A lot of work on the semantic web assumes it’s already there, saying, ‘If we had millions of pages in RDF, what would we do with them?’” Etzioni says. “People can tag, but they haven’t shown the ability or propensity to write reams of RDF on their own.”

Some of the most immediate and compelling applications for the shareable data of the semantic web and Web 3.0 lie in search. While Google does a good job of general web searches, it’s not as good at searching corporate websites, says James Hendler, co-author of Spinning the Semantic Web: Bringing the World Wide Web to Its Full Potential. If data in corporate websites were better organized, Web 3.0-enabled search tools could make that data much more useful. “A search that does that better is the Holy Grail now,” says Hendler.

Vertical search opportunities also lie in areas such as travel, where a vacationer could use a natural language search instead of keywords to find, say, beach destinations suitable for a family on a limited budget. Other promising applications lie in searching images, which at present are generally cataloged only with inconsistent Web 2.0 tags.

Perhaps the most tantalizing mystery about all this is where the first eye-catching success will come from. “What we’re waiting for with Web 3.0 is a killer app,” says Etzioni. HTML and HTTP, the technical underpinnings of the first generation of the web, were around for years before the web started taking off, he notes. “It was the presence of the browser that made it visual and appealing, and that’s when it started snowballing. We’re still waiting for that killer app, but once that’s out there, we’ll see a lot more activity around it.”

It will be two to three years before the first big commercial successes occur in the semantic web space, Hendler predicts. But others say it could happen sooner, depending on where you put your efforts. “For people who are very technical, there’s a big opportunity now around developing tools,” says Spivack. “The next opportunity, from 2008 on, will be starting to build applications that use semantics. Then the third phase, which will be a few more years after, is when it will be baked into every browser.”
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