Mind to Market

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Promises of Web 3.0

Put off by the unfulfilled hype of Web 2.0, some in the knowledge management community are now clamoring for Web 3.0. Dr. David J. Roberts, Chief Scientist at iBASEt, writes in Oracle's Profit Online that Web 2.0 technologies aren't really worth the bother and that the real value sought by enterprises lies in Web 3.0 technologies.

The compelling promise offered by Web 3.0 technologies is the ability to make inferences between contextually linked information thereby pulling new, creative combinations out of knowledge bases automatically. This is the holy grail of knowledge managers; to get machines to be able to reason, even just slightly, would offer a great deal of value.

With such a compelling value proposition as reasoning will Web 3.0 technologies render Web 2.0 worthless? There are still some very large obstacles to Web 3.0 as Roberts has described, i.e. machines can't handle ambiguity and major pieces of the Web 3.0 language (ontologies) have yet to be produced.

But is the interim value of Web 2.0 technologies really that low? Web 2.0 technologies provide integration for well defined processes, and it’s the fact that they must be well defined that renders them inflexible and in need of constant maintenance. Yet this integration is indeed quite valuable, too valuable to be left on the shelf until Web 3.0 is ready for prime time. The future world of Web 3.0 is indeed rosy but don't count Web 2.0 out just yet.

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