Meet the Webs (2.0 and 3.0)

This weeks topic filled me with an immediate sense of dread… the phrase “semantic web” is not a term I was familiar with at all, and the thought of having to write a blog about it was intimidating… but this is for university and I guess it can’t all be fun and games.

Hoping to avoid giving you with the same sense of dread, I am going to keep it as simple as possible. So, here’s my version of the evolution of the web (2.0 and 3.0) for dummies

For all the visual learners like me out there, I thought this diagram nicely summarised the evolution of the web. Photo credit to


So, what is Web 2.0?

Essentially, it refers to the second stage of the Internets development, following Web 1.0. The label is generally placed on advances made between 2000 and 2010. Web 2.0 saw the Internet start to take on a more interactive form, with the introduction of social media and user generated content. The Web 2.0 for business models has shifted from a purely producer/consumer approach, users actively participating and contributing to a website (Bernal, 2009). Web 2.0 examples: Blogs, Wikipedia, and Flickr.


Web 3.0 and the “Semantic Web”

With the Internet and technology showing no sign of slowing down, the term Web 3.0 has now come about as the extension of Web 2.0. Defined as a combination of the Semantic web and high-powered graphics, Web 3.0 is the third evolution of the web (Anderson, 2012, p. 295).  The semantic web refers to evolution of the web whereby the information and content generated can now be understood and automatically processed by machines. Computer applications now have the ability to create meaning and context using metadata. Think about the ads you see on Facebook, and how they always seem to suggest items from online stores you have recently been browsing, or, and the suggested products function… all Web semantic web features. We are currently still in the midst of Web 3.0, so exactly what it entails is still under debate. Chris Morrison (2007) calls it “Web 2.0 with a brain”, a definition I personally love. Google CEO, Eric Schmidt describes Web 3.0 as applications that will make the user generated content created by Web 2.0 able to be personalised and managed more efficiently – think of the cloud, we now have the ability to store data that can be accessed efficiently from anywhere, and distributed to any device.  Web 3.0 and the semantic web means the Internet is now using all the information we are putting out there and processing it automatically to cater our experiences – a strategic tool now commonly used by businesses.

As we are still in the midst of Web 3.0, the definitions listed above, or any others out there, are by no means definite. There a numerous possibilities for where the internet may go next… all we can do is wait. With the continuous evolution of technologies, and innovative developments with mobiles and artificial intelligence, wherever the future may be, it certainly looks to be exciting.


If you are still a little hazy on exactly what these terms mean (frankly, I wouldn’t blame you), check out this video:



Anderson, P. (2012). Web 2.0 and beyond: Principles and technologies. CRC Press,Boca Raton, FL

Bernal. J.  (2009).  The relationship between Web 2.0 and social networking.

Carta, D. (2008, March 8). Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0 | The Paisano®. Retrieved from

Morrison, C. 2007. What is Web 3.0? It’s Web 2.0 with a brain. Retrieved from


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