What is Web 3.0? Why does it even matter?
Web 3.0 is considered to be the future generation web with the feature of decentralization of the data backed by blockchain technology.
Before thoroughly understanding Web 3.0, first, you need to understand how the web has evolved.
Brief history of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0
Before 2004, the internet did not look like what it’s today. Today we can easily share our pictures, and videos over the internet. However, in 1990 when Tim Berners Lee first introduced the concept of web 1.0 it was all static websites.
In web 1.0 users could read only the information. It was quite impossible to have interaction between the web and user as we do today. There were few content creators and the majority of people used to consume whatever was on these websites.
Later with the evolution of web 2.0, it became possible for the user to generate content over the internet. The internet we use today is web 2.0. With the growth of social media, brands and customers both gained a voice to express and share their opinion with the rest of the world.
So what’s the problem here?
The problem with Web 2.0 is centralization, surveillance and exploitative advertising.
Though Web 2.0 enables the majority of users to participate in content creation through blogs and social media platforms, creators have no control of their content.
Do you remember how CarryMinati’s ‘Tik Tok Vs Youtube’ video with 70 million views was taken down by YouTube? It was removed for violating the terms of service. But those terms of service have never been made clear.
Similarly, general users have also lost control over how their personal information has been collected and used by companies. Facebook, for example, keeps track of everything you and other people put on your timeline, as well as every comment and likes you make.
They use this information to develop a detailed profile of your interests and assign you to one of many groups. Then they monetize that data through targeted advertisements.
This has raised concerns about data privacy and security over the Internet.
So, how Web 3.0 could solve it?
With blockchain technology Web 3.0 becomes more transparent, secure and free from the control of those giant companies. Web 3.0 allows users to have ownership of their content and data, unlike Web 2.0 which gives the users no control over their data on such sites.
Web 3.0 is based on three concepts i.e. Blockchain technology, Semantic web and Artificial Intelligence.
With blockchain Web 3.0 will be a decentralized web. Web 3.0 is removing centralized third party authority over your data.
Let’s see what a decentralized network is.
Different types of networks are shown in the above figure. In centralized networks, all nodes are connected to the central server and controlled by a single entity. Web 1.0 is an example of this.
The problem with this is a failure of the central server can lead to the failure of the whole system. To overcome this difficulty we move to a distributed system with Web 2.0
For understanding distributed systems, we can take the example of Facebook. It does not have a single server as its information is distributed over multiple servers. It is, however, both a centralized and distributed network since it is controlled by a single server.
However, decentralization is a new type of system which is uncontrolled by a single entity. In this type of system, information is spread in every node of the network and each node can validate the data. The best example for it would be Bitcoin and Ethereum.
By distributing identical copies of a database across an entire network, blockchain makes it very difficult to hack and reduces the chances of a server crash.
The term Semantic Web was first introduced by Tim Berners Lee, the same person who invented the World Wide Web. Simply the word semantic means, the meaning and understanding of data. The main goal of the semantic web is to make data understandable to both machines and humans.
In web 1.0 you could simply interlink the documents to each other through various links.
Slowly we move towards the era of applications where you can store and upload your data to a profile, such as with Facebook and LinkedIn. These are independent applications where individual data are not interlinked.
For instance, you have an account on Facebook and LinkedIn. If you update your information on Facebook, it won’t automatically update on LinkedIn. Because they are not interconnected.
However, in Web 3.0 there is a connection between the data and information rather than just between documents. So in Web 3.0 if you update your information on a specific web page or document, all the corresponding pages where data is linked get updated automatically.
The idea behind the Semantic Web is to categorize and store information in a way that helps machines to comprehend the meaning of specific data in the same way humans would do.
Artificial Intelligence will provide faster and more relevant data to end-users. In Web 3.0, the semantic web will focus on teaching machines what data means and AI will focus on filtering that data and providing the data it thinks matches the user’s intent.
This means you need to focus on a few things while creating content in Web 3.0, i.e.
1- Understand the user’s intent (Why someone might be searching for this topic)
2- Focus on the whole topic not just on keywords
Though Web 3.0 might take a longer time to fully implement, it has the potential to change how the internet works today and how people interact with the Internet. Web 3.0’s decentralized concept based on blockchain technology will make users able to take back control over their data. The Web will be more transparent, secure and user-centric.