The Webolution

In the beginning of time, a god or someone rather magnificent created a rather useful tool and named it the web/internet. Who was this genius? and how did the web come about? Well, read on as I attempt to explain in the most simplistic form possible of how the internet came about and what it has evolved into what we have today. 

With the lights firmly dim at the end of the hippy era, the future was igniting, looking bright, embracing the 70’s, famous for more than just disco balls and John Trovoltra’s hypnotic hip thrusts. Electrical engineer Robert E. Kahn along with Vint Cerf were at work, inventing what we call Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) basically the TCP would allow communication/information to exchange between IP addresses. Think of it like how a phone works; let’s call the IP address the telephone at your home address which also has a unique number associated with it and the TCP the channel that allows the exchange of communication/information. The frameworks in place helped pave the way for computer scientist Tim berbers-Lee to pioneer what we know today as the world-wide web, established in 1989, commonly known to most as the internet.
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The world-wide web snowballed, gaining momentum, advancing rapidly. The initial birth of the web was penned as the era 1.0 pronounced “one point owe” this allowed users to browse static web pages and hyperlinks with little to no user interaction. It was more of a read-only web page displaying information.
1.0 helped build the foundations of the web today, from which we quickly gravitated towards the generation and term 2.0 an updated version that allowed people to consume and contribute information through blog with sites like flickr, youtube, and Facebook, etc. This helped internet users share information and opinions, basically a whole new forum providing liberty to participate as an online voice. This was achieved through a technology called AJAX short for asynchronous JavaScript and XML.  AJAX  allowed for greater, quicker interaction between web applications with the help of XML, HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Ajax uses XHTML for content, CSS for presentation, along with Document Object Model and JavaScript for dynamic content display. In a nutshell, the term 2.0 helped users interact with others around the globe.
 
Previous search challenges with 2.0 would allow for information overload and a lack of context to data, therefore it didn’t quite understand what was relevant and what was not.
As we adapted to the use of information available on the internet, computer intelligence was also adapting to assist us with our quest for information. Thus came the birth and term 3.0 also known as semantic web; meaning data driven internet. Semantic technologies were able to bridge the gaps we had in 2.0 making for more defined searches and greater compatibility between computers and humans. The opportunity for people to connect and go live was now far greater than ever before. Computer applications could speak directly to each other, linking data.
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The future envisions the web 4.0 and 5.0 to look forward to. 4.0 will be known as the symbiotic web with the ability for computers to communicate in sync with our brain the way humans communicate with each other. Our physical reality and online reality will be blurred as we take on roles as internet avatars. Think of technology like Apples “Siri” and cars that can drive you to your destination, almost like a personal assistant, imagine having Iron Man’s “Jarvis” as your personal assistant. Maybe not just yet but something to look forward to in the years to come.
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The web 5.0 which is still under development will be a sensory-emotive space where we are able to move the web from an emotionally flat environment to a space of rich interactions. A fusion between humans and computer technology through microchip implants. The web will be part of our everyday lives. Being able to answer questions you have only just thought up.
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The technology we have today is advancing at an exponential rate, the future is limitless and we are nearing the era in technology where whatever we can imagine is possible. The webolution a combination of the web and the evolution is here and this is only the beginning of its time. Over the last 30 years we have seen technology literally take off morphing into something out of the cartoon The Jetson’s minus the flying spaceship, no doubt that is in the pipeline. I’m not sure what is next for the 6th or 7th edition of the web but I know I cant wait to find out.

List of illustrations

Figure 1. Homegrown (2014)Home grown for sustainable living. [Digital virtualisation]Retrieved from http://aboutthewebweliveintoday.yolasite.com

Figure 2. Flat World Business.(2011)Web 1.0 vs Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0 vs Web 4.0 vs Web 5.0 – A bird’s eye on the evolution and definition [Digital virtualisation]Retrieved from https://flatworldbusiness.wordpress.com/flat-education/previously/web-1-0-vs-web-2-0-vs-web-3-0-a-bird-eye-on-the-definition

Figure 3. The Iron Helmet shop.(2014)Real Iron Man Jarvis interface.[Digital virtualisation]Retrieved from http://ironmanhelmetshop.com/real-iron-man-jarvis-interface/

Figure 4. Network World.(2012)The future of human computer-interaction. [Digital virtualisation]Retrieved from http://www.networkworld.com/article/2217838/virtualization/the-future-of-human-computer-interaction.html

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