Web 3.0 and the Search for Meaning

ARGH! Just as I am trying to figure out Web 2.0, I find out that Web 3.0 is on its way!
I’ve been pondering these issues particularly since the upcoming MLA Educational Webcast is entitled Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices: Discovering the Participatory Web. I like that phrase “participatory web” as a description, even better than the term “social media” used in the tagline for this blog. Here is the Wikipedia definition: “…a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services (such as social-networking sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies) which aim to facilitate creativity, collaboration, and sharing between users.”
During January, there has been considerable discussion about the concept of Web 2.0 and its corollary Library 2.0 in librarian blogs. For a taste of the discussion, sample these posts by David Rothman, John Blyberg, and maybe even try the biting, sarcastic wit of Annoyed Librarian.
Have you seen Dean Giustini’s BMJ editorial Web 3.0 and medicine: Make way for the semantic web? I printed out the PDF and slogged through it this morning. The table contrasting Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 was very useful. If the next big thing will be the semantic web, then I’m all for it. As an ex-cataloger, I have never felt very comfortable with the concept of folksonomies and uncontrolled vocabularies. Just adding more words somehow seems to make things more confusing and searching more difficult. Dean Giustini has linked to a great video explaining the semantic web over at the UBC Academic Search — Google Scholar Blog.

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