Posted by: crudbasher | July 19, 2010

Google Kickstarts Web 3.0

Now this is an interesting development.  If you look at the development of the web it has gone through 2 specific phases.  They are referred to as Web 1.0 and 2.0

In Web 1.0 every person who went to a web page saw the same thing.  They could look, but not change anything.  It was not personalized.

In Web 2.0, the conversation is more of a 2 way street now.  We can tell the websites what we want to see and it can change to reflect our preferences.  Many websites have evolved into tools that rival programs on our laptops.

The problem is search.  If you search for a topic on Google or Bing you will find sometimes millions if not billions of results.  How do you know where the information you are looking for is?  The way Google does it is (among other ways ) by ranking the results based on how many other pages link to that info. That works ok for simple searches but not so well for more complex ideas or combinations of ideas.  The most critical problem is the information is just thrown up there.  There is no smarts behind it.  The web really doesn’t know what any of this stuff means.  Once you can get information to have meaning, you can give it context and that is where Web 3.0 comes in.

For example, if you search for Barack Obama, you will find the White House webpage.  But there are so many other things you might want to know about him. Being able to associate him with community organizing or law schools would be a useful thing.  In other words after the initial search, sorting the results will be easier because the search system will be able to suggest further info.

Here is a good video about how this works from the company that Google just bought.

What this means for teachers is we will be more comfortable to use web searching in the classroom spontaneously.  The problem right now is it takes too long to find relevant information from the millions of hits we get.  Systems like this will help a lot.

Web 3.0 means information has meaning and context. Awesome!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


  1. Way cool, looking forward to how this is going to play out! Hadn’t seen Metaweb before, great video explanation! Hooray for web 3.0

    • What I find exciting about the concept of a semantic Web 3.0 is thinking about all the applications we can’t even foresee yet. Such an explosion of creativity!!

      As always, thanks for commenting!

  2. I have to say I’m skeptical of just how well this will work–for anything except celebrities, Google currently gives me more and more relevant information.

    Not to say that Google won’t be able to make something useful out of this, but part of the power of search engines like Google is that they find obscure sources which no one has noticed before–Metaweb seems to require a much more top-down approach to organization that would miss many of them.

    • Hi Daniel, thanks for commenting!

      Yeah I have some questions like yours as well. This would have to be more of an automated process right? I mean you can’t have people actually building these meta objects by hand right? I agree there are some questions remaining before I completely buy into it. I do think it will work at some point.

      • I guess the problem with an automated process is that it would imply good AI solutions to natural language processing, which (to the best of my knowledge) don’t yet exist.

        Perhaps they’re using an automated process and checking it by hand, which would be relatively quick compared to building it from scratch, but seems like it would probably take a while before it exceeded the amount of information in a traditional encyclopedia.

  3. Yeah that’s what I was thinking too Daniel. Maybe it’s automated but with human input? It kind of reminds me how the difference between Yahoo and Google. Yahoo was much smaller but hand crafted, Google was a vacuum cleaner. 🙂

    I do think that natural language processing will be solved pretty soon. There has been some huge strides in machine vision, and I don’t think language is a harder problem.

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