Way back in 2006, when “Web 2.0” was all the rage (yes, it was that long ago), I wrote a blog post and created a fake conference about Web 8.0. Here are my 7 year old predictions. How am I doing? Do any of them seem plausible still? Did we skip over Web 4.0 or have we just not gotten there yet?
Chris Minnick’s Plan for Web 3.0 to Web 8.0
Web 1.0: Top-down, authoritative Web (finished)
Web 2.0: Bottom-up, community-driven Web (finished)
Web 3.0: Anonymity-seeking Web. Everyone’s sick of posting to their blogs. Search engines and social networking sites misuse and abuse customer data, and anonymity services that will remove you from the Web and mask your identity while you surf become popular. (early adopters entered Web 3.0 in September 2006)
Web 4.0: Proof of Identity Web. People realize that there are times when they want to be identified online, but this has become difficult as a result of the fake identities they created during Web 3.0. Encryption and digital signatures become widely used.
Web 5.0: Face-to-Face Web. Digital signatures and encryption are too difficult for most people to use correctly. Online video meetings become popular. The Virtual Hang-Out Machine, a $100 piece of consumer hardware that enables video conferencing between multiple people, is invented and becomes as widely used as social networking web sites were during Web 2.0.
Web 6.0: Protecting the Children / Censorship Web. A few cases of the Virtual Hang-Out Machine being used by pedophiles leads to government hearings and federal legislation to protect the children.
Web 7.0: Total breakdown of the Web. Web 6.0 laws have the effect of making the Internet much more difficult to use. People stop using it, and the number of Web sites starts going down.
Web 8.0: Resurgence of the Web. A new and improved Web emerges and it looks almost exactly like the one that was predicted at the 1st Annual Web 8.0 Conference, which was held in 2007.