What can we expect from the next few years on the Web? Now we are happy into the current aera of the Web, commonly referred to as Web 2.0. Features of this phase of the Web include search, social networks, online media (music, video, etc), content aggregation and syndication (RSS), mashups (APIs), and much more. Currently the Web is still mostly accessed via a PC, but we are starting to see more Web excitement from mobile devices (e.g. iPhone) and television sets (e.g. XBox Live 360). I described here some of them in bellow.
When will the Semantic Web arrive? Some companies are actively trying to implement the Semantic Web. Semantic Web has been The Next Big Thing for a long time now. Indeed it’s become almost mythical, like Moby Dick. In a nutshell, the Semantic Web is about machines talking to machines. It’s about making the Web more ‘intelligent’ computers “analyzing all the data on the Web ‚the content, links, and transactions between people and computers.” So we are getting close, but we are probably a few years off still before the big promise of the Semantic Web is fulfilled.
Mobile Web is another Next Big Thing on slow boil. It’s already big in parts of Asia and Europe. In few years time there will be many more location-aware services available via mobile devices; such as getting personalized shopping offers as you walk through your local mall, or getting map directions while driving your car, or hooking up with your friends on a Friday night. But one of the main issues with Mobile Web has always been usability. So some mobile companies will probably be seen in few years time as the breakthrough Mobile Web device.
Major web sites are going to be transformed into web services – and will effectively expose their information to the world. Such transformations are never smooth – e.g. scalability is a big issue and legal aspects are never simple. But it is not a question of if web sites become web services, but when and how. Some web sites will offer their information via a REST API. The net effect will be that unstructured information will give way to structured information – paving the road to more intelligent computing.
This kind of technology has commercial applications today, as companies like Intelliseek are trying to provide users with business intelligence over the Web, including mining corporate Web sites for competitive intelligence information, such as lists of customer names. Some serious computer scientists, although cautious about the promise of the Semantic Web, are ultimately optimistic that it will be everything developers are hoping for — an online source for all of the knowledge that humanity has created in science, business and the arts.