In a webinar couple of weeks back, Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle discussed their vision and structure of the web of the future. The Web2.0 Summit is scheduled for October this year and O’Reilly & Battelle expressed why they have considered “Web Squared” as the theme for it. You can read the entire article along with the whitepaper and the webcast on the Web2.0 Summit Website.
It is an interesting read and I am glad it has re-iterated the focus and benefits one can leverage from things such as Collective Intelligence, Real-time Web and (my favorite) Intelligent/Learning Systems! Also there are some excellent examples quoted in the whitepaper, which are worth a glance. In some of my previous posts (when I started blogging on my person blog), a majority of my thoughts revolved around these topics and I always wondered why, not many have been taking it seriously. I am glad O’Reilly has emphasized on these aspects and I hope people/organizations give a new level of importance to it going forward.
Tim says “Ever since we first introduced the term Web 2.0, people have been asking, ‘What’s next?’ Assuming that Web 2.0 was meant to be a kind of software version number (rather than a statement about the second coming of the Web after the dotcom bust), we’re constantly asked about ‘Web 3.0.’ Is it the
semantic web? The sentient web? Is it the social web? The mobile web? Is it some form of virtual reality?
” And Tim concludes the statement saying “It is all of those, and more.
Its five years since the word Web2.0 was coined and we all know that it has come a long way; I am wondering in another five years will the so called ‘Web Squared’ also make it to the English language dictionary as an official new phrase like Web2.0!
There is of course another side to this. When we are all talking about and are involved in these things, we feel Web2.0 is really a household name, but organizations and people are still getting to understand it and hardly a few have actually been able to benefit from it. Is the web world (of a small percentage of geeks) moving just too fast for the rest to catch up with? How does one start showcasing and benefiting from Web Squared (and its new mantras) when people are still creating awareness about Web2.0?
I understand that there will be a set of people who would keep on evolving the technologies and will be early adopters, but think about it: by the time people start getting a feel of Web Squared, we might come up with probably Web Infinity! If Web Squared was coined considering that Web now expands exponentially and is not just an incremental iteration; then probably we will soon have boundary-less Web with infinite possibilities. And I think people/organizations need to speed up in understanding, if not totally adopting the new technologies before they feel completely left behind in this race of the world!
Coming soon: Infinite Web!? 😉

Nikhil Nulkar is a knowledge management consultant within Capgemini and is passionate about web2.0 and social media. Want to know what he is up to? Follow him on Twitter