Web 2.0 and later ....

Essentially, Web 2.0 is a more socially interactive way of using the Internet. Thus, using appropriate "social software", users can share videos, music, photos, ideas and knowledge. Many users and networks use Web 2.0 technology for entertainment purposes, but there are many serious applications as well, e.g., teaching and learning by distance.

Tim O'Reilly - the person who first coined the expression "Web 2.0" - gives an explanation of it in his article "What Is Web 2.0". For our purposes, we are looking at Social Media (i.e., media for sharing images, writing and voice), Social Bookmarking (i.e., ways of sharing our classifications of web artifacts), and Social Networking (ways of networking with other like-minded people).

See below for an entertaining and informative video: "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us"

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The Semantic Web

Before we had really started getting used to the idea of Web 2.0, researchers were talking about Web 3.0 - though actually it is usually now referred to as the "Semantic Web". And this concept of the web really does start to sound more like the "birth of the Matrix" - could that be a prequel to that wonderful series?

Humans can use the web to find specific information that they want because they understand what is written on each web page. Thus, whilst a search engine can find all the web pages with "matrix" written on them, only humans can easily distinguish those pages that are about the film "The Matrix" rather than about mathematics. The semantic web is a vision in which webpages are "understood" by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, sharing and combining information on the web.

Here is Tim Berners Lee (father of the World Wide Web) talking about the Semantic Web:



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