Last updated on April 25, 2022
Less than 2 decades ago, I was doing a lot of presentations about the new, shiny concept of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 marked a significant turning point for digital culture, specifically because it allowed for the development of that culture: it made it possible for people to interact directly online. While it could be initially onerous to explain to the layperson, most people understood it as some kind of seismic shift in the zeitgeist. Here we are in 2022, and we’ve eliminated the decimal point and the next version is simply being called “web3” (no capitalization often, either).
The emergence of the next version of the web reminds me strongly of its predecessor; web3 is also somewhat nebulous as a concept and generating a lot of interest and hype. A large number of seemingly-disparate innovations claim to be part of the new web, including the metaverse, NFTs, crypto, and a lot more. Personally, I think a lot of these developments are overdue, but I’m much more immune to the hype this time around. I’m less likely to drink the Kool-Aid…I’ve seen this pattern before. But here are some posts, to get you up to speed.
- What is ‘Web3’? Here’s the vision for the future of the internet from the man who coined the phrase [CNBC] “For Wood, Web3 is truly decentralized and a more democratic version of the current internet — one that is not dominated by a handful of huge players like Amazon and Microsoft as it is today.”
- Why decentralized telecommunications is necessary to make Web3 a reality [Coin Telegraph] “Soon, every major company, industry and consumer experience will be shaped by the metaverse and accompanying technologies. One of the biggest gaps still yet to be filled is a network that can support the requirements. After all, the centralized infrastructure the internet depends on is not public or trustless, direct violations of what the blockchain-led digital realm is hoping to achieve.”
- How Web3 could disrupt existing institutions and bring about societal transformation [National Observer] “Web3 provides users agency over content, data and assets and is built on models of co-ownership and decentralization of decision-making and control. Him Gajria captured this concept simply in a 2020 tweet: “Web 1: Read, Web2: Read-Write, Web3: Read-Write-Own.”
- How Web3 Proponents Plan to Oust Web2 [Coinspeaker] “The problem with this strategy is that it could be time-intensive. The world as we know it needs Web3 for different reasons, and simply waiting for this generation to pass seems like a gamble that might end up not even paying off. So, builders have to build – and they need to build now.”
From the Ohio Web Library:
- Web3 is a fantasy, but it can still hurt you (Newitz, A. (2022). Web3 is a fantasy, but it can still hurt you. New Scientist, 253(3376), 28.)
- Web3 Law Center One of the First Web3, Crypto, NFT, and Blockchain Law Firms (PR Newswire. (2022, March 15). Web3 Law Center One of the First Web3, Crypto, NFT, and Blockchain Law Firms. PR Newswire US.)
- Web3 Is Useless If It’s Not User-Friendly (Olson, P. (2022). Web3 Is Useless If It’s Not User-Friendly. Bloomberg.Com, N.PAG.)