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Friday, February 27, 2009

The Evolution From Web 1.0 To Web 2.0, To Web 3.0 For Small Business

The "we've come a long way Baby" phrase certainly applies to the worldwide web. More importantly is how businesses of all sizes now use this media. I would define 1.0 as static or read only, 2.0 as interactive, and I believe 3.0 will be characterized as being adaptive (or inteligent).

The early internet (Web 1.0) was purely a space for people who could build websites .... and companies that could afford them including the occassional adding of content or basic function. All vanilla ... no Tutti Fruiti.

I think we have to look at the tools we consider Web 2.0 to define what it is - Between blogs, social networks and constant communication we have seen the tools that bring the Internet to everybody and pull it from the dreary dungeons of its birth. Web 2.0 simplified the Internet and its tools are the resources people now use to adapt it and change it to their use without complex instruction or coding.

The direction much of the web seems to be going .... for small business at least ... appears to be "social media" marketing.

“Social media describes the online tools that people use to share content, profiles, opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives and media itself, thus facilitating conversations and interaction online between groups of people.” Brian Solis, WebProNews.com

The third generation of the web, known more popularly as Web 3.0 is one that will be referred to as the “intelligent web”.

The intelligent web will incorporate features such as natural language search, data mining, recommendation agents, and artificial intelligence technologies in order to produce a more intuitive user search experience.

Web 3.0 and the Semantic Web will be apart of a strategy that will incorporate web development that is designed using machine-readable text. This means that the success of the semantic web is dependent on how people are inputting data, or feeding information to search engines/machines.

In order for machines to make sense of information as people do, they need to be programmed with a way to identify not only individual words, but also the concept of the words, and other related words. Once this has been done, new web standards for writing text, and tagging it for keywords that machines can read need to be developed and shared with people who are generating content for the web.

Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a language emerging to enable systems to understand a user’s intention, and is the building blocks of the “Semantic Web.”

Standards such as RDF are used to define metadata in a machine-readable way that enables machines to integrate distinct data assigning roles and relationships to words that enable the machine to make sense of the association of words as apposed to merely making a relation to words.

Web 3.0 is dependent on user generated tagging and linking to information across different platforms, providing context and depth to information online. When proper tags are assigned to content more precise search results are possible and more traffic can be driven to smaller websites and online publications.

OK .... now what's this all mean to you the small business owner.

Simple ... you have plenty of choices for what, where, and how to include the internet in your marketing arsenal. The decison is yours.

BUT .... you do need to get smart fast. If the internet is not part of how you're doing business .... than you are leaving a ton of money on the table rather than putting it in your pocket.

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