What is Web 3.0? Is it the Web of Data, the Ubiquitous Web, the Mobile Web, the Semantic Web? The answer to all of these questions is “yes.”
Web 3.0 represents the next generation of information infrastructure that will enable an unprecedented level of intelligence in almost all systems and applications. Smarter computing capabilities will perform complex tasks that previously required human capabilities, such as understanding and reasoning—and will accomplish those tasks at enormous scale and efficiency.
These technologies are in use today by organizations ranging from Facebook to the Department of Defense. They’re using the new infrastructure to provide a variety of innovative capabilities, including faster access to and discovery of information through powerfully intelligent decision-making applications. Let’s look at some examples:
Connecting Information: Facebook
The Facebook Open Graph is a great example of Web 3.0’s simple scalability. Open Graph includes a format for marking up Web pages based on the Resource Description Framework (RDF), the Semantic Web data model, so that anyone with a Website can incorporate Facebook’s markup to define what the site is about.
This goes beyond basic metadata because the descriptions enable Web users to find and connect with their friends who have similar interests. The simple manifestation of all this is the Facebook “Like” button: One click can offer an invaluable hub of information that could be used for future communication with friends and to make recommendations and discoveries.
Search Optimization and Web Commerce: Best Buy
One of the most frequently quoted benefits of Web 3.0 is more relevant search results. As applied to Web commerce, this means that businesses can now put additional information into product descriptions and online ads to make them easier for search engines to find.
Best Buy is at the forefront of using this technology to leverage its e-commerce efforts. It is using RDFa (RDF in attributes, which adds a set of XHTML attributes) markup and the Good-Relations vocabulary to produce more targeted search results for shoppers looking for products. So far, some internal company measures suggest that this has increased traffic by 30 percent.
The benefits go further, however, including the ability to examine product attributes more closely and make more granular product comparisons. Best Buy can also take the data from its catalog and integrate it with other data sources, both internally and externally, for data analysis.
The company also marked up blog entries from active store blogs, again with RDFa, to generate more traffic for localized store pages. Their “open-box” project (which includes returned and demo products) brings in customers looking for better deals, producing a revenue windfall on returned items.