Last month my colleague Krissi Danielsson posted on her blog that people are starting to call “Web 2.0,”
originally coined by Tim O’Reilly in reference to the more social and
dynamic manner of certain sites, the “Live Web.” While she explained
why she liked the term and that it had a good ring to it, I commented
that as great sounding as it is, the term wasn’t a perfect replacement.
My reasoning was and still is that Web 2.0 depicts the tools enabling the social interaction that has allowed for
the current state of the web to be considered the “Live Web.” This state, however, will presumably continue even long after Web 2.0′s initial tools have been replaced.
If the Live Web will represent anything, I think it should be in relation to the oft-spoken-about-yet-years away “Web 3.0,” which has also been called the “Semantic Web.” Presumably, Web 3.0/the Semantic Web will be the dawn of an era when the Web will be able to intelligently respond to natural language queries such as “Where does the President of the United States live?” as well as meaningfully and accurately connect people with the
information they really want, perhaps in a non-search required way.
However near or far off Web 3.0 is, Dan Farber raised a great point in a ZDNet post back in 2006 – that there will likely be something in-between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0. In the coming weeks, we may get a glimpse of this “Web
2.5″ period. Israel-based SemantiNet, which recently raised $3.4 million and is going to open a U.S. office, plans to come out of its stealth/Beta mode and release to the public its long-awaited semantic web product sometime this month.
Though descriptions of it indicate that it is essentially a Web 2.0 product that uses mash-ups to share relevant information from other sites on things such as friends activities and potential content of interest, presumably its shot at semantic-ism will come from its underlying, more intelligent algorithms that will be able to accurately connect information from current Web 2.0 platforms to searches done in an intelligent and close-to-natural language a manner as possible.
The Product page on SemantiNet’s website, explains SemantiNet’s technology as,
you go on the web, our product works to discover meaningful connections
between what you’re browsing and the rest of your world: your people,
your interests, your pursuits…
the power of Facebook, FriendFeed, Twitter, Digg, Last.FM, and other
great social services and take them with you as you roam the web. Our
product checks in with your friends and contacts to see what they’re
into and up to. It lets you know how content you encounter relates to
their activities, opinions, links and ideas.
product is seamless, automatic and instant. Once installed, it begins
working for you behind the scenes: constantly researching while you
freely browse – politely integrating valuable links and info directly
into the web pages you view…”
How accurate and helpful the product and its features really are is yet to be seen. In the meantime, below is a sneak peek video that Robert Scoble posted on Fast Company’s site last May.
About the author: Lisa Damast currently resides in Israel. Any questions or inquiries regarding this blog can be directed to her via email at lisa (at) israelinnovation20 (dot) com. She can also be followed on Twitter, where she covers additional Israeli technology companies and headlines among other topics.