Nova Spivack provides poignant insights into the recent Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0 brouhaha which I've excerpted below:

Web Me2.0 -- Exploding the Myth of Web 2.0:

"Many people have told me this week that they think 'Web 2.0' has not been very impressive so far and that they really hope for a next-generation of the Web with some more significant innovation under the hood -- regardless of what it's called. A lot of people found the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco to be underwhelming -- there was a lot of self-congratulation by the top few brands and the companies they have recently bought, but not much else happening. Where was all the innovation? Where was the focus on what's next? It seemed to be a conference mainly about what happened in the last year, not about what will happen in the coming year. But what happened last year is already so 'last year.' And frankly Web 2.0 still leaves a lot to be desired. The reason Tim Berners-Lee proposed the Semantic Web in the first place is that it will finally deliver on the real potential and vision of the Web. Not that today's Web 2.0 sucks completely -- it only sort of sucks. It's definitely useful and there are some nice bells and whistles we didn't have before. But it could still suck so much less!"

Web 2.0 is a (not was) a piece of the overall Web puzzle. The Data Web (so called Web 3.0) is another critical piece of this puzzle, especially as it provides the foundation layer (Layer 1) of the Semantic Web.

Web 2.0 was never about "Open Data Access", "Flexible Data Models", or "Open World" meshing of disparate data sources built atop disparate data schemas (see: Web 2.0's Open Data Access Conundrum). It was simply about "Execution and APIs". I already written about "Web Interaction Dimensions", but you call also look at the relationship of the currently perceived dimensions through the M-V-C programming pattern:

  1. Viewer (V) - Web 1.0 (Interaction, Dimension 1 - Interactive-Web)
  2. Controller (C) - Web 2.0 (Services, Dimension 2 - Services-Web which is about Execution & Application Logic; SOA outside/in-front-of the Firewall for Enterprise 2.0 crowd)
  3. Model (M) - Web 3.0 (Data, Dimension 3 - Data-Web which is about data model dexterity and open data access)

Another point to note, Social Networking is hot, but nearly every social network that I know (and I know and use most of them) suffers from an impedance mismatch between the service(s) they provide (social networks) and their underlying data models (in many cases Relational as opposed to Graph). Networks are about Relationships (N-ary) and your cannot effectively exploit the deep potential of: "Network Effects" (Wisdom of Crowds, Viral Marketing etc..) without a complimentary data model, you simply can't.

Finally, the Data Web is already here, I promised a long time ago (Internet Time) that the manifestation of the Semantic Web would occur unobtrusively, meaning, we will wake up one day and realize we are using critical portions of the Semantic Web (i.e. Data-Web) without even knowing it. Guess what? It's already happening. Simple case in point, you may have started to notice the emergence of SIOC gems in the same way you may have observed those RSS 2.0 gems at the dawn of Web 2.0. What I am implying here is that the real question we should be asking is: Where is the Semantic Web Data? And how easy or difficult will it be to generate? And where are the tools? My answers are presented below:

  1. - Semantic Web Data Source Lookup & Tracking Service
  2. Swoogle - Semantic Web Ontology Location Service
  3. Semantic Web Solutions for Generating RDF Data from SQL Data
  4. Semantic Web Solutions Directory
  5. SIOC Project - Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities Ontology, a grassroots effort that provides a critical bridge between Web 2.0 and the Data-Web. For instance, existing Web 2.0 application profiles such as; Blogs, Wikis, Feed Aggregators, Content Managers, Discussion Forums etc.. are much closer to the Data-Web than you may think :-)
  6. Virtuoso - our Universal Server for the Data-Web
  7. OpenLink Data Spaces (ODS) - our SIOC based platform for transparent incorporation of the Data-Web into Web 1.0 and Web 2.0

Next stop, less writing, more demos, these are long overdue! At least from my side of the fence :-) I need to produce a little step-by-guide oriented screencasts that demonstrates how Web 2.0 meshes nicely with the Data-Web.

Here are some (not so end-user friendly) examples of how you can use SPARQL (Data-Web's Query Language) to query Web 2.0 Instance Data projected through the SIOC Ontology:

  1. Weblog Data Query
  2. Wiki Data Query
  3. Aggregated Feeds Data Query - (RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, Atom etc)
  4. Shared Bookmarks Data Space
  5. Web Filesystem Data Query - (Briefcase - Virtual Spotlight of sorts)
  6. Photo Gallery Data Query (this could be data from Flickr etc..)
  7. Discussion Data Query (e.g. Blog posts comments)
  8. Data Queries across different Data Spaces - combining data from Wikis, Blogs, Feeds, Photos, Bookmarks, Discussions etc..

Note: You can use the online SPARQL Query Interface at:

Other Data-Web Technology usage demos include:

  1. TimBL's Tabulator - A Data-Web Browser
  2. Semantic Web Client Library - RDF Data Drill Down Demos using SPARQL
  3. Semantic Radar - A Firefox plug-in for auto-discovering SIOC Instance Data
  4. Talk Digger - SIOC based Web Conversation Tracker