Eras of Web Evolution – Legible Table

Here’s a more legible version of the table from my previous post comparing the “Dot Com Era” with “Web 2.0” with “Semantic Web”.

  Dot-Com Era Web 2.0 Semantic Web
Sometimes Called Web 1.0 Bubble 2.0 Web 3.0
Rough Timeframe Mid-90’s to 2000/2001 2003-present ?
Quick Academic Description Human-readable static web pages, linked. No
Human-readable dynamic web pages. Flexible
interface. Social interaction. Centralized “mashups” via
proprietary APIs
Machine-readable content in standard, XML formats.
Multiple possible interfaces. Data-level mashup at client via standard data
Chacteristic Usecase One-to-many website; directory. Think Yahoo Many to many; social network/sharing. Think
All web data/content is interoperable and available to all ‘net-connected apps. Think RSS
Preferred Business Model Banner ads Google AdSense; subscription? Micropayments?
Characteristic applications Web mail; directories; online shopping Social network; wiki RSS feed-reader, meta search; mashups?
Characteristic Properties Hotmail; Ebay; Yahoo; Geocities Google; Wikipedia; YouTube; Flickr; Facebook None yet
Interface & Display Technologies Links; nested tables; HTML AJAX; CSS; Flash; RSS RDFs; microformats; standardized XML
Design Aesthetic The more the merrier; flashing text; Times; black
background; crowded
Less is more; pastels; sans-serif; white background;
Acronyms and Buzzwords URL; Web AJAX; Blog; API; CSS Meta data; RDF; “Semantic Web”
Preferred Browser Netscape; IE Firefox; Safari Type-specific? browsers not needed?
Users Communicate Via Email; chat IM; in-network message
Self-Expression Via Personal web page Blog; social-net profile Distributed microformats?
Gets It Ebay, Geocities, Netscape Craigslist, Wikipedia, Digg, Google
Doesn’t Get It AOL Microsoft, Netscape
Vanguard of Next Era Suggestions? RSS, Google Maps API
Incumbants Yahoo; Amazon Google; Wikipedia
Unfulfilled Promise Instant, perfect information Online apps Semantic Web itself??
Poster children Suggestions? Kevin Rose; Mark Zuckerberg None yet
Founders’ Exit Strategy IPO M&A with/by Web giant
Terminus Dot-com crash; “dot-com bubble”; Sept. 11? TBD… current recession? Smooth transition to next
Next next big thing.

Comments/suggestions are welcome. Badly needed, in some cases!

Update: I’ve created a wiki to use for improving & adding to this chart. Visit!


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One Response to “Eras of Web Evolution – Legible Table”

  1. The (Realistic) Future of the Semantic Web « Wit Happens Says:

    […] (Realistic) Future of the Semantic Web I’ve written recently on the Semantic Web, mostly to explain what it is. There’s no shortage of articles—academic […]

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