Quick overview on the evolution of the Web
At its core, the WWW was meant to be used for sharing and collaboration. However, when it got out publicly at the beginning, it was almost one directional, and that happened through content flowing from authors of the content to the consumers. We could, more or less, agree that this was Web 1.0, which marked the rise of news sites, web portals and many others.
The next evolution of the web happened, when people started creating their own content and sharing it with the rest of the world, with the help of blogging and social media websites (such as Facebook, YouTube, Medium, online podcasts etc...). This evolution is Web 2.0 and we are currently living it along with the seeds and/or initiatives of the next revolution (i.e. Web 3.0)
Enter Web 3.0
When you read about Web 3.0, you might find people who are cautiously optimistic or pessimistic about it. The seeds of Web 3.0 happened when smart devices entered our homes, where we could have more than 4 or 5 devices that are connected to the same network, sharing data and communicating among each other in order to give suggestions and/or make decisions for us (to help us in our chores for example), sometimes without the need to connect to external source. When devices in our homes started exchanging data among each other (and probably with online service(s) in some cases, it starts taking decisions and actions to help in assisting us in our decisions using these collected data. Some might look at it as the era of human-data-interaction. This kind of network setup forms an independent node that can connect to the internet every now, which in turn, some might look at it as a decentralized service (i.e. these smart devices might take decisions without the need to communicate with the main service/device provider).
At its core, Web 3.0 is about serving distributed content on the internet. There are no central governing point controlling how a content is being hosted, published and/or distributed, instead, it's being shared among peers. Meaning, that if some entity tried to take down a host, it doesn't mean anything for the content/website which has been taken down, since it's hosted on all other machines that are connected to the grid.
When looking for Web 3.0 in general, you will find a lot of posts and/or videos on blockchains, how they function and how it is the future of transactions and keeping data safe from being tampered with. Moreover, talking about trades and transactions that are going to be peer-to-peer, without relying on banks and other authority to validate transactions that are taking place. Since discussing nitty gritty details on how blockchain works and algorithms behind it is out of the scope of this article, you will find in the references down below listing some online resources that can help bringing you up to speed with the concept.
Another possible solution to the distribution problem (which might sound absurd to some) is the use of Interplanetary File System (IPFS). In Location Based Addressing (which how the internet currently is running), a user is pointing the browser to a single entity/server in order to fetch a resource. If a resource is not available or the server is down, there is no way to access that resource (unless internet archive has archived the page of course). With the IPFS, once the data is recorded, it will be shared among peers in the network (very much similar to how torrent works). However, once data has been written in IPFS, it can’t be changed anymore (similar to how blockchain work), therefore the work around this issue was that the file system keeps track of versions of the modified file, and you just keep updating your file(s) with new versions.
We are living in exciting era for technology, furthermore, we are on a brink of new evolution that hopefully will propel us to a better future for the whole humanity.
- On the data harvesting problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lEhamPHh3k
- About decentralized internet TEDTalk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U51MSK6nSQE
- About web 3.0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rervzX0LIrk&t=
- TED talk on blockchain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RplnSVTzvnU
- A short course on Blockchain : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsJWgOB5mIMDMyCcZSwSKin2XPJRYI9Ya
- The original paper on bitcoin: https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
or if you are a fan papers in poster format
- The patent on distributed CMS: https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/85/62/d1/f4c7b60707467d/US20150215291A1.pdf
- Regarding the right to be forgotten:
- Interesting article on GDPR and blockchain
- On erasing data from blockchain: