What is "Web 2.0"?

Teaching a class, a student asked me, “What is ‘Web 2.0′”? 

Having briefly scanned some online articles about it, I answered “It doesn’t mean anything. Just hot air”. 

Later, I did a bit more digging on “Web 2.0” and confirmed my initial take: hot air. 

In fact, I re-defined “Web 2.0” it in my mental storage system as: “Been there, done that.”

The term “Web 2.0” appears to have been coined during a “brainstorming session” between Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media and MediaLive International. Presumably, the purpose of this brainstorming session was to create themes for a new commercial tradeshow. 

According to O’Reilly, they formulated a definition of Web 2.0 by example:

Web 1.0
  Web 2.0
Google AdSense
Britannica Online
personal websites
upcoming.org and EVDB
domain name speculation
search engine optimization
page views
cost per click
screen scraping
web services
content management systems
directories (taxonomy)
tagging (“folksonomy”)

The main theme: the web as a platform for applications. Second theme: collaborative efforts.

So Web 1.0 was the development and adoption of the browser, HTTP and HTML. Web 2.0 was the development of applications like Wikipedia that use it. 

Been there, done that, or what?

Let’s talk about Web 3.0 and 4.0!

At Teracom, we’re interested in getting you up to speed on the technology underlying today’s and tomorrow’s telecom products and services. 

Taking our acclaimed training, you’ll understand the concepts and ideas, mainstream solutions and how it all fits together.

For example: we’ll cover the idea of virtual circuits, how they are implemented in the IP world with MPLS, and how MPLS can be used to implement Quality of Service guarantees and Service Level Agreements in the IP world. 

… this is knowledge you can’t get from pundits or trade shows. Career-enhancing knowledge you can leverage going forward.

So let’s talk about the next two technology steps: 
call them Web 3.0 and 4.0 – or VoIP and IPTV. 

Web 3.0: The IP-PSTN 

Web 3.0 will have happened when the Public Switched Telephone Network and the Internet become the same thing.

You will know we have reached that point when you read that a telephone company has applied to its regulator to stop being required to provide analog POTS for new service orders. 

Broadband IP Dial Tone will be the new Plain Ordinary Telephone Service.

In this future, you won’t have analog telephone service. You’ll only pay for high-speed internet access – from the cable company, the telephone company or maybe some metro wireless or metro fiber outfit.

They’ll give you a drop wire / entry cable / wireless access plus an adapter which does the functions of Modem / UPS / Gateway / Edge router / Ethernet switch / NAT (a MUGEEN). 

You can plug this box into an existing phone jack and it will implement POTS on your inside wiring – dial tone, ringing, off-hook detection… 

The MUGEEN also has Gigabit Ethernet ports. You can plug it onto your LAN and it provides Gigabit Ethernet LAN switching in your house and access to the Internet for anything on the LAN. 

You can also plug in an Ethernet IP phone to do VoIP over the Internet. If you can set up a phone call by right-clicking on someone’s email address on your computer screen and choosing “Call” or “Talk”, then pick up the phone to use its microphone and speaker, you’ll know you have arrived at Web 3.0. Some people are already there!

Web 3.0 is covered in: 

Course 130, Understanding Voice over IP (2 days, for managers) and 

Course 110, IP Telecom: VoIP and the All-IP Network (3 days, for the more technically-oriented). 

Web 4.0: IPTV 

So if VoIP and broadband IP dial tone is Web 3.0, what is Web 4.0? 

Well, as a picture is worth a thousand words… 
video is next

HD video streaming from a video server to your video display over your 20+ Mb/s Internet connection. 

Subscribe to a package of “channels” or customize your own feeds via a web page. 

On the web page, search for, then download or stream and initiate the playing of any television show episode, movie, sporting event or other video that has been catalogued. 

Access this web page on-screen via a wireless keyboard, on your desktop or maybe see it on your wireless palmtop. Or just use a clicker. 

Much of the existing video will be archived somewhere on the Web. Content that is out of copyright or public license will be free. You’ll have to pay for new episodes of Lost. 

One milestone will be good-quality streaming of Standard Definition video (DVD quality, 480×720 pixels). You’ll know we are truly there when you can stream HD (1080×1920). 

You’ll get a good understanding of the network that will support Web 4.0 in Course 110, IP Telecom: VoIP and the All-IP Network. We’ll beef up the IPTV content in that course as the story progresses. 

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