Beyond Web 2.0: The Rest Of The Story

1 Toward 2W — Beyond Web 2.0: The Rest Of The Story

In November 2007, I gave a lightning talk at the W3C Technical Plenary in Boston where I looked forward to what came after Web-2.0. The key insight underlying that talk was that the Web was now mature enough for us to build Web technologies purely out of Web parts. Web-2.0 is a result of applying the Web to itself and is therefore better thought of as Web(Web()) or more concisely, Web2.

Today, we can build new Web artifacts out of existing ones by aggregation (Web Mashups) and by projection (filtered views), and publish the resulting artifacts on the Web by assigning them a URI. This leads to the insight that this Web that is to come potentially consists of the power-set of all Web content. These ideas, and their logical consequences are detailed in article entitled Toward 2^W --- Beyond Web 2.0 in the February edition of the Communications Of The ACM.

1.1 History:

  • I first articulated the thought behind 2W at University of Washington when I gave a talk entitled The Web The Way You Want as part of their Distinguished Lecture Series.
  • Aspects of 2W as they apply to the topic of Specialized Browsing in the context of users with special needs later formed the underpinnings of the chapter of the same title in Springer's book on Web Accessibility.
  • In November 2007, I gave a lightning talk at the W3C Technical Plenary in Boston around the core thought behind 2W, describing it as The Second Coming Of The Web.
  • I blogged about the idea in greater detail in December 2007.
  • I spent the next few months refining these ideas and placing them within the context of the rapidly evolving social Web.
  • In March 2008, I was invited by Moshe Vardi to write an article for a forthcoming edition of the Communications Of The ACM on the architecture of the Web.
  • The article was completed by May 2008, and went through the ACM's peer review process over the next 3 months.
  • I worked with ACM editor Andrew Rosenbloom in early December 2008 on the final galley proofs.
  • The final article was published in February 2009.

This directory contains this personal copy of my article consistent with the ACM license that permits authors to publish their works on their own Web site. I would like to thank the ACM's Andrew Rosenbloom for his numerous editorial suggestions that contributed significantly to the overall readability of this article. The artwork chosen in the final copy were also selected by Andrew based on my suggestion to use mathematical structures such as the Mandelbrot set that epitomize the power of recursion.

1.2 Conclusion

This article was written to give an overview of how the Web has developed over the years in the hope that it would help us collectively understand, and consequently predict its future evolution. Ironically, the Web site used by the Communications Of The ACM is an excellent example of how Web technology can be used (and abused) sub-optimally — after the article was published, I found I could not easily access it. I initially put this down to the fact that the site designers had overlooked the needs of someone who couldn't see — later, I realized that I wasn't being singled out in this regard — most of my computer scientist colleagues also complained about how difficult it was to access the article — even though they could see. So without further ado, here is a (hopefully) easier to access version of the article as published in the February 2009 volume of the Communications Of The ACM.

HTMLTowards 2^W --- Beyond Web 2.0
PDFTowards 2^W --- Beyond Web 2.0
ACM CitationToward 2^W --- Beyond Web 2.0
ACMToward 2^W --- Beyond Web 2.0

Author: T.V Raman <>

Date: 2009-01-28 Wed

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