According to Google,
Web 1.0 is the “read-only Web,” Web 2.0 is the “participative social Web,” and Web 3.0 is the “read, write, execute Web.” This Web interaction and utilization stage moves users away from centralized platforms like Facebook, Google, or Twitter and towards decentralized, nearly anonymous platforms.
To be clear – that’s just one set of Web1, Web2, Web3 definitions. The bigger the Web number the more confusion people are having trying to describe it.
When I think about the Web1, Web2, and Web3…
Web1 – That’s when we learned to communicate via email and find stuff we were interested in at other people’s websites. It was easy to find skilled ‘software’ people who could build websites. A much simpler time…easy to describe.
Web2 – That’s when one of my friends asked several times how he could monetize his LinkedIn contacts. He spent years building his contact base and nurturing his followers. However, he could not figure out how to generate commercial growth through LinkedIn. Later, he learned his personal data was the product being monetized. Web2 was about people with IT/tech/Software knowledge and talent taking over the world and making $Billions by selling people’s private data to businesses who wanted to advertise to those people. Centralized power at a whole new level. Centralized business power and organized crime power, seen by policy makers as threatening privacy, security, and economic stability.
Web3 – This is a whole new ball game. Radical and disruptive changes accompanied by new buzz words including crypto, blockchain, NFTs and metaverse. (When you hear people talk knowingly about “crypto” ask them to define that word. Their ambiguous answers and lack of ability to define “crypto” may surprise you…) Web3 is much ado about decentralization of power/control and mysterious, often poorly crafted, software innovations. All of these things combine to fuel market hype, skyrocket new business initiatives, and crash-land new business initiatives. And, we have only begun to see where Web3 dreams will take us. Policy makers and regulators are exerting the power they are able to muster in an effort to reduce the privacy, security, and economic stability concerns that arose in Web2. Knowledgeable and talented IT/tech/Software people are driving new levels of innovation…much aimed at making quick bucks (quick big bucks that is)…some aimed at making the world a better place.
Looking ahead – social media has a brighter future.