The internet has already went through a few sea changes in it’s brief lifetime. First there was Web 1.0, the birth of the major e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay. Then, with Web 2.0, highly dynamic sites like Digg pushed the ideas of what a web app can do. Then came the social media craze (I really think social is Web 3.0). Next came the mobile explosion, bringing an entirely new way to think about how data is consumed.
What’s next? What technology will take us even further? Will it be Mobile 2.0? Will it be Web 4.0? Something new entirely?
The Evolution of Internet-Related Technologies
Think about the evolution in terms of ease of access to data and availability of data. With Web 1.0 the web was pretty static. Search engines were really the only way that you could find things, save for emails from friends and family. You had to really stumble across interesting things.
Web 2.0 made that simpler by giving you a few centralized sites to visit to find lots of information that interests you. News/link aggregators like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc. became the default location for internet users who wanted to know what was going on. These sites work on the principle that one user will post something for others to see, kind of like giant bulletin boards with lots of nice organization and user customization.
The rise of social media took the ideas of Web 2.0 to the next level by making information sharing nearly instant. Twitter and Facebook allow users to send content that their friends will see instantly.
Mobile is an interesting branch in the evolutionary tree. Mobile technologies currently take the best information for social media and Web 2.0 and translate it into mobile-friendly packages for consumption. The biggest unique attribute for mobile currently is location based services like Foursquare, but I expect that to change.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Based on where we’ve come so far the evolution is clearly trending toward making data more accessible, and, to me, that means that mobile 2.0 is where we’re heading. I don’t know what mobile 2.0 is going to be , but I do believe that it will move mobile beyond simple location based services and into the realm of everyday activities for the existing web. More social, more news, more real-time data that you can carry with you. Maybe it’s a new breed of mobile games, ones that let you connect with other players as you move about in the real world. It’s too early to tell, but I’m excited to see what’s next.