When have you heard last time about web 2.0? Web 3.0? Right, around ten years ago when Wordpress, Shopify, Etsy, Twitter, Tumblr and co was launched.
Now all you hear is social media, sharing economy, machine learning, blockchain and artificial intelligence, internet of things. None of them have anything to do with the web.
What happened? How the web got lost in the noise? I'm trying to understand this phenomena through analyzing it's underlying technology.
From Presentation To Interaction
Web 2.0 introduced us commenting and sharing — the first interactive artifacts since add to cart from the Amazon and E-bay era.
That was a revolution. Immediately brought us the REST and the MVC — technologies meant to replace plain simple presentation with heavy interactions on web pages. To move us from web sites to web apps.
It also brought us the cloud to move us from web servers to web services. And git to let code freely evolve.
Interactivity decomposed monoliths into quick moving atomic components. Today everything is possible on the web.
You can rent machine time to run your functions; spin up servers on demand when traffic goes high; use specific programming languages for specific tasks; decouple user interface from backend; compose applications on the fly; have same good looking apps like internet giants; many more and all for free.
Such a perfect time to do web! It's never been easier and more enjoyable to create!
From People To Machine
How this fine progress can't be enough for the web to hit the headlines again?
Yeah, when free then you are the product.
It seems, by its nature, the web become a vehicle to a higher order entity. Together with it's successor the app, matched with the advertising1 driven business model, we see now a shift from human to machine.
It's not what somebody can do with technology but what machine can do with the outcome of all these.
Everything we create and do — from user interfaces to phone calls — goes semantic: understandable by algorithms. Everything we optimize — infrastructures, processes, tools, ourselves — shifts control to machine.
Now all what's left to us is to blame the algorithm.