Web X

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.


14 thoughts on “Web X

  1. I love this!!!!! I am adding that my idea of Web 3.0 at the moment includes the hilarious idea of us actually writing again after the solar flare comes. 🙂 The “Web” part comes from all the great people who “met” each other during Web two. Only in the future they have to use manual typewriters and pencils to communicate. Better yet, meet.

    I love Web 8.0 the Cosmic Web.

    It’s all just semantics anyway.

  2. Here’s a one-sentence version of what I believe Tim Berners-Lee means by “Semantic Web”: A web in which (most) (all) (some) content has such exquisite and consistent XML markup that pages can “talk to each other,” with computers able to synthesize meaning out of the web of XML.

    Here’s a one-word version of my estimate as to the success probability of the Semantic Web working in general (as opposed to in some narrow defined spaces): Nil.

    The founder of the web’s been after this Semantic Web notion for a long time–at least since 1999. There are two fundamental problems with the whole notion, the first of which has been abundantly demonstrated since 1999:

    1. Web content creators are lazy–we’re a lot more interested in the content than in creating dense metadata, and for the Semantic Web to work, it requires EXTREMELY rich XML.

    2. Just to tweak Jennimi a little: It’s all just syntax. Syntax is easy. Semantics is hard.

    Ah, but you wanted a sensible explanation of how it *would* work. Can’t help you there, since I don’t believe the notion makes general sense.

  3. Thanks, Grumpy Old Man!

  4. Web X: The web is dead.

    All the sharing of content led to the explanation of the ultimate metacontent: bunnies are cuddly.

  5. I think it is entirely possible that the web will cease to exist when every possible combination of cat picture and caption w/wacky syntax has been uploaded. Like the Nine Billion LOL’s of Cat or something.

    C.f. Merlin Mann’s tweet from today.

  6. Pingback: “I leave you to imagine” « Attempting Elegance

  7. Oh geez, now I totally have the song Cosmic Thing from the B-52s in my head!

    You crack me up, Josh! I can’t wait to see you at Internet Librarian!

  8. My understanding of W3.0/Semantic Web: The code will reach out and grab what it needs on its own – from any source available, regardless of format – without needing to be told to search for this or that.

    What do I win?

  9. See, that makes sense to me! (Actually, let me refine that a bit–and if I’m getting the “Semantic Web” wrong, someone correct me: websites will reach out and grab metadata from each other automatically.)

    You win…being married to me. Which is quite the prize, if I do say so myself.

  10. Score!

    Is this married 1.0 or 2.0? I did married 1.0 and it kinda sucked.

  11. Remember the song “In the Year 2525”?
    Applies to web too!

  12. All the sharing of content led to the explanation of the ultimate metacontent: bunnies are cuddly.

    LOVE that, Royce.

  13. I believe it is, in fact, creating a Web easily syndicated through the use of XML and RDF standards.

    Back in the day I was working on a project that I think may have taken this to a next level. It’s called Croquet and is supposed to be an interactive learning environment. I think it may be a lot more similar to Second Life now… but I haven’t had much experience with either. Check out some of the videos on one of my colleagues blogs: http://jlombardi.blogspot.com/

    It’s pretty awesome stuff. 🙂 Almost your holographic environment… *twilight zone music*

  14. Pingback: Interesting Things of the Week #17 « Lore Librarian

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