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On Versioning The Web and The Future

With the dawn of “Web 2.0″ it became apparent that the Internet and the World Wide Web was evolving. At that point in Internet time there had been so many advances in the technology, infrastructure and potential of the web that nobody could resist it’s importance to the future of our cultural and economic future. The only problem was that nobody could accurately define what the hell “Web 2.0″ meant. That loose, ambiguous word was devoid of any “defining” characteristics of the actual version of the web, and consequently, versioning the web became tedious.

On the Previous Versions of the Web

Every time period in our history has been defined as a version, era or saga. If we think of the last millennium you’ll notice a variety of distinctively separate eras which defined our cultural, economic and regional differences. The second thousand years of our modern calendar was begun with the dark ages, moved into the crusades, the Renaissance, the enlightenment, the American and French revolutions and an array of scientific and technological discoveries.

Each of these “eras” in our history defines a period, or version, where there was a distinct social, economic and cultural pattern. The dark ages and crusades marked a gloomy era in our history while the Renaissance and Enlightenment represented historical points in our evolution as a species.

The very same can be said about the internet. The original era of the internet was static. There was no dynamic content, no applications, it was nothing more than a place to find and share information. Then along came AOL, IRC and some more “interactive” applications. The end of “Web 1.0″ marked a fundamental shift in the future of the web. The advent of AOL provided us with and understanding that the web could be social, personal and interactive.

Thus proverbial “Web 2.0″ was born and while most people have no idea what that means it actually quite simple: It is the birth of interactive applications and user-centered design. I’m not talking about those glossy buttons but the ability to design the information architecture and the User Interface specifically for the end user. The web became a place for people to interact with each other via email, Instant Messaging, and website. Web 2.0 was a place that businesses could sell goods online, charities could accept donations from around the world, and a little company like kohactive could show it’s kick ass work! Likewise, “Web 2.0″ was a shift from elitism to personal web. While domain acquisition and hosting was more expensive in Web 1.0, the second iteration provided an cheap and easy solution for anybody. If we think of the open source platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc. all of these open source platforms made it drop dead easy for even my mother to start a blog.

On the Current and Future Versions

“Web 2.0″ ended as interactive applications like Facebook, Delicious, Basecamp and many more began to redefine how we utilize the web as a tool. I believe we are currently in a new era of the web, “Web 3.0″ where interaction, social life and technology provide us with a new platform to observe and interact with the world. As a company we utilize numerous web applications that we have become dependent upon, i.e. Basecamp, Beanstalk, DropBox, Harvest, etc. And likewise, all business have found a variety of online tools the streamline and manage business routines. While “Web 1.0″ was static and “Web 2.0″ dynamic, “Web 3.0″ can be defined as a social and application based era in it’s history. Any business can find a solution to a problem online through some sort of web app. These young, amazing entrepreneurs across the globe have been able to build an app for anything.

The advent of the iPhone was the most technological revolution in the history of the web. We were no longer restricted to computers and bulky laptops. We now had the internet and applications in our hands, natively attached to a small device that we could fit in our pocket. The web suddenly became an indispensable tool that would define the future of our economic and social environment.


Did you know that the web was originally “social”, developed to allows university professors to share data across the country. Web 1.0 lost that meaning and it wasn’t until now that we’ve begun to truly understand the importance of social communications through the web. In a hundred years we will look back on the history of the web in order to define the future. We will study the “social and application” era of Web 3.0 and use it to define Web 4.0, Web 5.0 and so forth.