NQ Logic

Technology | Strategy | Consulting

The Day the Web Became Squared

The dream of every marketer is to have one of his or her message sticking to the societal subconscious at a global scale for a long period of time. We had the “Just Do It”, the “Think Different”, and now the “Web 2.0”. I don’t think Tim O’Reilly knew how deep his trace on the history book of technology would be the day he invented the term in 2004, but today everybody is using “Web 2.0”, and in much more broader scope than just technology. Even the weather has been upgraded to 2.0 (for an almost complete, yet not exhaustive list of Web 2.0 stuff).

I would say that his achievement as a marketer is tremendous, spotlighting not only the web as a technology but also the fact that it muted to a new version, bigger, better and stronger. Well done, Tim!

So Now What’s Next?
Five years later, the web is different and so is the technology world. That’s why Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle released a new term to describe this evolutionary trend - “Web Squared”.

Comparison between Web 2.0 and Web Squared
as per O'Reilly’s definitions

It’s only when I put side by side the Web 2.0 and Web Squared attributes that I realize that the internet technology had finished its first mutation, and now it is time to go back to what it was designed for. Tim and John are synthesizing in a catchy term that the web technology, having fixed its open security layer and multi-user management profile (Web 2.0), is now going back to the essence of the World Wide Web: the data.

The Web 2.0 Was About Security, Web Squared Will Be About Data.

During the Web 1.0 years (1990-2004), data was generated by a handful of official digital publishers and some early adopters (the geeks). In its 2.0 phase (2005-2009), the web was produced by everybody and user-generated content was in. But it came at a price to each user in the crowd: Who are all these people? Where are they from? Can I believe what they are saying (even if they are numerous)? That’s where the security and its module management came in handy. The web become a platform with features that helped me to separate the unknown with my friends or favorites, rate and evaluate the public content, and organize my overwhelming stream of information and communication – e.g., social tagging, networks, twitter.

Now that we believe in the information flow that’s coming our way everyday, because of public or personal brand and our ability to filter it, let’s keep increasing the volume of information. The next phase (let’s call it Web Squared for now until someone finds a better terms for it) will be data-driven.

At this rate, data will come from everywhere, anybody and now from anything (devices, systems), and the new focus will only be on three directions: data storage, data manipulation and data presentation. My prediction is that each of these directions will become a very lucrative and expertise-driven economy in the technology world.

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