Web 3.0: Chicken Farms on the Semantic Web is an article by Jim Hendler on the early signs of what he is calling Web 3.0. The title caught my attention, natch, and so I read the article with great interest.
However, I hesitate to agree with his premise. He argues that the semantic web, or more precisely the standards, software and services that will rise to support it, will be the manifestation of Web 3.0. I am not so sure.
The semantic web is a big deal, and very necessary for our long-term use of the internet. This goes double for libraries, as our biggest obstacle is a data interchange format that is user-friendly while still maintaining the complexity it represents. However, the semantic web is not what will re-shape our web experience. It will help make it possible, but it in itself is primarily the organizational layer that can be used by the technology.
Web 2.0 (and as an extension, Library 2.0) has both been over-hyped and under-appreciated. It is a significant change in how we, both developers and users, relate to the internet. We are in the midst of this transformation, and I doubt that many can see clear to the far side, but it will be viewed as a fundamental shift in information gathering and sharing.
Much of what is described in his article is either the manifestations of the semantic structuring of information, or the Web 2.0 applications that take advantage of it. I suspect that we haven’t yet detected that which will become 3.0 (or whatever it will ultimately be called), but that is is out there. Just as many of the 2.0 technologies have their roots in relatively clunky analogs present in the late 1990s, the acorns that will grow into mighty oaks have yet to distinguish themselves.
By the way, it is a great article, and does an excellent job in conveying what may be in store for the semantic web.
article found via ResourceShelf