Oh Web 2.0, it seems like only yesterday that you arrived – is it possible that already you may be getting ready to be replaced? The answer is not quite yet, but the outline of what the Web 3.0 is going to look like is starting to firm up. IT Leaders need to start getting ready for this change now so that when it arrives they can take advantage of all that it will offer…
What Was Web 2.0?
Before we run off and start making predictions about the future of the Internet, maybe it would be a good idea to take just a moment and make sure that we are all on the same page as to just exactly what the Web 2.0 is / was.
When the web first showed up (Web 1.0), everyone rushed out and created static web pages. That was a great start, but it got a bit boring because nothing changed without a great deal of effort. Web 2.0 extended what we had by adding blogging, Wikipedia, social networking (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and even microblogging (Twitter). This changed everything because all of a sudden things could be easily changed – and they were!
What Is Web 3.0 Going To Be?
IT Leaders who are trying to keep their teams on track and on top of new technologies need to be asking just what is going to make up the Web 3.0. Dr. Jim Hendler at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been spending some time thinking about this and he’s come up with some interesting ideas. Dr. Hendler points out that the next version of the Web appears to all be based on Tim Berners-Lee’s (you know, the guy who invented the Web) vision of a semantic web.
In this next iteration of the web, what we’re going to see is more and more complex mashups of data from different applications being used to deliver data in more useful ways. Dr. Hendler believes that the read-write abilities of Web 2.0 applications will be used to build Web 3.0 applications that operate at the data, not the application level.
What’s Going To Make The Web 3.0 Happen?
Before the Web 3.0 can show up, a few critical pieces need to drop into place. Ultimately, what needs to happen is that it has to become easier to integrate web data resources. This is exactly what IT Leaders need to be staying on top of. Here are the emerging technologies that are going to allow this to happen:
- Resource Description Framework (RDF): provides a means to link data from multiple different websites or databases. Uses the SQL-like SPARQL query language.
- Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI): We already have these – this is how you merge and map data that is found in different locations on the web.
- Web Ontology Language (OWL): allows relationships to be inferred between data that is stored in different parts of the same application.
IT Leaders have many different responsibilities that they have to juggle at the same time. Keeping up on new and emerging technologies is part of the job. The Web 3.0 will be at least as significant of a change as the Web 2.0 was. If they move quickly, IT Leaders can position their teams to get in front of a significant change before it happens. Right now they have such a chance – Web 3.0 is not here yet, but it’s getting ready to arrive.
IT Leaders need to have their teams spending time time to understand what problems that the company is facing today will be able to be solved once you have a better way to unify all of that data that is available on the web. A critical first step is assigning staff to learn and become experts on the new Web 3.0 technologies early on. If you can prepare for the future AND accomplish your other IT tasks at the same time, then the Web 3.0 will have provided you with yet another way to transform yourself from an IT manager into a true leader.
Questions For You
What is the level of adoption of Web 2.0 technologies in your department currently? Is anyone currently studying the new technologies that Web 3.0 will be built on? Is anyone on your team studying how Web 3.0 abilities can be used to help your company? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Have you ever heard the phrase “When senior management doesn’t know what to do, they reorganize”? I’m not sure if this is always true, but it sure seems as though when times are tough reorganizations, restructuring, and even re-engineering are things that can happen to any department in IT. What’s an IT Leader to do about it?