Web 4.0 Is For Wankers: Stop The Madness!

April 25, 2008

Apologies in advance for using the term wanker. It's probably the most pejorative word I've ever used in an article title. I'm likely going to regret this someday, but it's been a long week and a little venting never hurt anybody (famous last words).

On with the show.

I've never been a big fan of the term "Web 2.0". I have no issues with some of the underlying concepts, I just don't like the term.

I wrote an article about why:

Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and Beyond: Villainous Version Numbers

I disliked the term so much, when I spoke at the MIT Venture Capital conference back in 2006, I began my opening remarks with: "Personally I think the Web 2.0 label sucks...". (the title of the panel had the term "Web 2.0" in it). Once I got that out of my system, I felt better and had a pretty good time.

So, you can imagine my chagrin when I found a reference to the term Web 4.0 on TechCrunch recently in an article by Erick Schonfield. Now granted, the article wasn't about Web 4.0. But still...The reference in the article even puts an approximate date on the Web 4.0 movement. We should expect to see it around 2020 (so says the visual in the article). Oh, and in case you were wondering, Web 2.0 was the "social web", Web 3.0 is the "semantic web" and Web 4.0 is going to be the "intelligent web". (No, I'm not making this up).

I guess the web community better get cranking on all the point releases in between Web 2.0 and Web 4.0. We've got some work to do.

People, can we please all stop the madness with trying to put version numbers on the web?

(And yes, I see the irony in the fact that my call to action itself propagates the term Web 4.0 by using it -- CURSES!).

Update: A couple of other articles on the related topic of Web X.0 as a label:

Charles Cooper (CNet): Time to dump the Web 2.0 sobriquet

An alternate view from Stowe Boyd: Another voice calling for the end of Web 2.0

Written by Dharmesh Shah


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