Jennifer Graham and I were talking about Web 2.0 and how neither of us really understands what the “Semantic Web” that is supposedly Web 3.0 could be. I mean, I went to college, I was an English major, I’m not a complete idiot…but no explanation of the “Semantic Web” has given me much of an idea of how it would work and what “Semantic Web” means. (Anyone who can explain the concept to me in a way that leads me to understanding gets a prize.)
At any rate, here’s my idea for further Web “upgrades”:
Web 4.0: the Holographic Web. The Web will be all around us, in 3 glorious dimensions and full color.
Web 5.0: the Ecological Web. The fully immersive Holographic Web leads to 3-dimensional ecosystems of information, growing and interacting all around us.
Web 6.0: the Cyberweb. Artificial intelligence, or the closest thing to it, spreads throughout the Web. All Web-connected machines (computers, media devices, toasters, refrigerators, etc) become independently-thinking machines, existing equally with flesh-based life.
Web 7.0: the Broken Web. A plague of solar flares disrupts all electronic information-communication systems on the planet, leading to huge crashes in the strands of the World Wide Web. Informational ecosystems become isolated and inbred. Meanwhile, solar flares and massive climate change lead to startling mutations in flesh-based life.
Web 8.0: the Changing Web. Mutant humans, animals, and cybernetic lifeforms rise up and seize control of the planet from non-mutated lifeforms. The World Wide Web becomes a system of ever-mutating language and information, like Second Life on ‘shrooms.
Web 9.0: the Cosmic Web. Radio waves and mutant psychic forces beam the Web out into space, across the galaxies. Files are stored in the hearts of stars. Social networking is routed through wormholes. Everything in the cosmos is miscellaneous.
After that…well, I leave that to you to imagine.
EDIT: My wife noticed that I had “Web 7.0” twice. I’ve fixed it, so now the Cosmic Web is Web 9.0.