In the midst of all the 'buzz' surrounding the implementation of Web 2.0 in education today, discussions around the emergence of Web 3.0 have shook many to the core.

Web 3.0, also known as semantic web, has aroused many questions among web users all around the world.

What is semantic web, what makes Web 3.0 unique and valuable? Does this spell the end of Web 2.0?

Experts like Nova Spivack believe that Web 2.0 is here to stay.

Well, at least until it joins the scarecrow on the yellow brick road to Web 3.0 city in search of a brain.

What is this Web 3.0?

Russell Stannard, a principal lecturer at the University of Westminster who also runs a training site for Web 2.0 online, believes it is all about convergence.

"It is about bringing together information from searches, tags and so on, to make content much easier to search. It is known as the semantic web," says Stannard.

"From what I understand, it may not mean such a massive change in the content but perhaps in the way that content is searched, tagged and organised."

However, there has been talk about people misunderstanding the semantic web, thinking it will not be about collective intelligence. But Nova Spivack, co-founder and CEO of Radar Networks that launched Twin, urges that they are wrong.

Web 3.0 with a brain

In an interview with Venture Beat, Spivack said that Web 3.0 is Web 2.0 with a brain.

He described the semantic web as the coming together of "statistics, linguistics, open data, computer intelligence, the wisdom of crowds and user-generated content."

We could say that Web 3.0 is like an internet-like metapor of the Secret Wars art battle that took place in London, where two artists compete in a 90-minute freestyle session.

According to Design, each contestant is given a huge 20 foot mural with no prior knowledge of themes and must then put something together in an interactive environment, while art lovers look on.

The end of Web 2.0?

"Web 3.0 won't replace those ideas from Web 2.0. The revolution is about data, and making it all smarter," Spivack explains to Venture Beat. "What's going to be different about Web 3.0 is that it'll be the intelligent web." You'll see smart applications that are still social."

With one of Web 3.0 prime technology, 'natural-language search', a lot of time can be saved on research, giving more time to creativity.

According to the Times Online, natural-language search allows for one to be able to search full questions like, "Which US Presidents died of a disease?"

So for Kutiman's Thru-you musical project on YouTube, searching for "which videos on YouTube have a guitar playing?" wouldn't have been such a son of a pixel.

Web 3.0 and the industry

Spavick feels that although potential investors may not see themselves adopting the semantic web, it may still be relevant to whatever other sector they put their money into.

However, Philip Trwoga, a principal lecturer at the University of Westminster, School of Informatics, feels that Web 3.0 as an educational tool would work well.

But he has some doubt about it: "The downside is a 'Google for brains syndrome'.

"Students are already losing the ability to critically analyse problems and I cannot see how more the use of semantic web will help that problem."


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Web 3.0: replacement or evolution?

By Chinaka Iwunze