“Web 3.0” is an IT buzzword that’s appearing with greater frequency among the state and local government IT community. Explanations differ as to what it means in terms of implementation, but the overarching concept is “machine-to-machine” communication on the Internet.
This means that in a growing number of instances, software applications — not the human end-users — will evaluate the usefulness of Web page content, online data and sensor information. Where Web 2.0 was about users contributing data manually and interacting with one another regarding that data, Web 3.0 is focused on applications that search on behalf of users for data that’s likely to be of interest. For instance, imagine Person A reveals his favorite recording artists on his Facebook account. Person B becomes a Facebook friend of Person A and later listens to one of those recording artists on Internet radio website Pandora.com. Having combed Facebook, Pandora alerts Person B that Person A likes that recording artist. Instead of Person B wondering if such a commonality exists and seeking out the answer, Pandora searches the Web and notices the commonality on behalf of Person B.