Web 1.0 => Web 2.0 => Web 3.0.
Communication technology often seems to be the most rapidly evolving field. And, having progressed from web 1.0 to web 2.0, we are naturally accelerating toward web 3.0.
The study of data communication for computer networks began in the 1960s. By 1974, Vint Cerf, Yogen Dalal, and Carl Sunshine had defined the internet’s fundamental concepts, Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and Internet Protocol (IP).
In 1993, the internet accounted for 1% of the global communication landscape. By 2000, it had risen to 51%, and by 2007, it had reached more than 97%.
Nowadays, the internet is at the heart of modern civilization, elevating regular and business communication to new heights. And it appears that this isn’t even its final form.
In the Beginning was Web 1.0
The term “Web 1.0” refers to the first version of the Internet as it emerged from its origins with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that became, for the first time, a global network representing the future of digital communications. It characterizes the first stage of the development of the World Wide Web, which lasted roughly from 1991 to 2004. “Content creators were few in Web 1.0, with the vast majority of users simply acting as consumers of content,” write Graham Cormode and Balachander Krishnamurthy.
Web 1.0 was known as the ‘read-only web,’ because you could only search for and read websites – it was a web that was not interactive in any meaningful way. Static HTML pages were used to create the websites, which could only display information. You’d have to start by looking through website directories and you could only use some search engines with basic functionality after the year 2000. The early Internet consisted primarily of web pages linked together by hyperlinks, with few of the additional visuals, controls, or forms that we see today.
The web 1.0 ‘era,’ believe it or not, was a time when the web user was mostly passive, much of the user input happened offline, Yahoo was the MVP, Google was only probably thinking of becoming the next Yahoo, and personal web pages were more popular.
Britannica Online, personal websites, and mp3.com are examples of Web 1.0 sites. When you visit one of these sites, you’ll notice that the text and images are placed on the digital page using very basic HTML code. When you look at the old pages now, you won’t find the elaborate web forms and other tools that characterize today’s Internet, what we refer to as Web 2.0.
And then came Web 2.0
At the end of the 1990s, a more interactive version of the internet began to emerge.
In the early 2000s, CSS didn’t exist, so developers had to write thousands of lines of PHP, HTML, MySQL, and JS code just to add a bit of customization to a website.
When the first version of Flash was released in 1996, however, it revolutionized website design by allowing developers to create websites with complex media such as web applications, games, videos, and images.
The transition from web 1.0 to web 2.0 became clear with the arrival of Facebook in 2004. The ‘read-write web’ was forever enforced by major platforms based on user-generated content, such as Reddit (2005), Twitter (2006), and YouTube (2007), which appeared later.
Web 2.0, also known as the participatory social web, refers to websites around the world that emphasize user-generated content, usability, and interoperability for end users. Darcy DiNucci coined the term in 1999, and Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty popularized it at the first O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 Conference in late 2004.
Although the term resembles software version numbers, it does not actually indicate a formal change to the World Wide Web; rather, it describes a general shift that occurred around this time as interactive websites mushroomed and began to eclipse the older, more static websites of the original Web.
Users can interact and collaborate with each other as creators of user-generated content in the virtual world of a Web 2.0 website. This is in contrast to the first generation of Web 1.0 websites, which only allowed people to passively view content.
Web 2.0 is a development of Web 1.0. It enables ordinary web users to provide information and have some control over what they share on a website. These sites may have a “participation architecture” that encourages users to add value to the app as they use it.
Users can add value in a variety of ways; by posting content on blogs, contributing to customer-evaluation channels (e.g., Amazon and eBay), news websites (e.g., commenting), social networking services (e.g., Myspace and Facebook), media-sharing websites (e.g., YouTube and Instagram), and collaborative-writing projects sites (like Blogger, Tumblr and LiveJournal).
Some Web 2.0 features were available in Web1.0, but they were implemented differently. Instead of a comment section at the bottom of each page, a Web 1.0 site might have had a guestbook page for visitor comments (typical of Web 2.0). Long comment threads on multiple pages could potentially slow down an entire site during Web 1.0, so server performance and bandwidth had to be considered.
This new web was not just for businesses to appear on websites. A voice was given to the average internet user. As a result, testimonials and reviews became necessary for marketing purposes. Furthermore, since the introduction of smartphones in 2007, an increasing number of people have in their pockets a fully functional internet-connected device.
We now create blogs, share videos, write reviews, and conduct voice searches in web 2.0. Furthermore, we use the internet to its full potential from a small mobile device: as a social tool, an encyclopedia, a marketplace, and a weapon against brands.
Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has questioned whether Web 2.0 is significantly different from previous Web technologies, calling the term jargon. “A collaborative medium, a place where we [could] all meet and read and write,” he said at the time of stating his original vision of the web.
The Key Features Of Web 2.0 Include:
- Folksonomy – Free information classification; allows users to classify and find information collectively (e.g. “tagging” of websites, images, videos or links)
- Rich User Experience – Dynamic content that responds to user input (e.g., a user can “click” on an image to enlarge it or find out more information)
- User Participation – Through evaluation, review, and online commenting, information flows both ways between the site owner and site users. Users frequently post user-generated content for others to see (e.g., Wikipedia, an online encyclopaedia that anyone can write articles for or edit)
- Software As A Service (SaaS) – Web 2.0 sites developed APIs to allow automated usages, such as by a Web “app” (software application) or a mashup.
- Mass Participation – Near-universal web access leads to a differentiation of concerns among users, from the traditional Internet user base (which tended to be hackers and computer hobbyists) to a broader range of users.
However, the use of dynamic URLs and other resources eventually advanced the capabilities of the Internet. The cloud era followed, with software as a service being delivered directly over the Internet. Years later, the modern Internet bears little resemblance to the early Web 1.0. Almost any digital function that used to be contained in a licensed piece of software can now be delivered via the internet. This results in significant cost savings and even a rethinking of traditional concepts such as client/server design.
It’s difficult to say where Web 1.0 ends and Web 2.0 begins because this is a change that happened over time as the internet became more interactive.