Online or offline, one frequently hears references to web1.0, web2.0 and web3.0 and possibly wonders where exactly are they with using the web in their business ! In this post, I will write about some of the main features (or characteristics) of all three terms and also suggest an approach to measure how effectively you are using theses features. We must remember that terms like web2.0 are marketing as opposed to technical terms which are coined to define new ways in which people can use the web and as yet, there are no agreed standard definitions. In the beginning… If your business has a static website, where the content is rarely changed, then you could be considered to be at web1.0. The emphasis with web1.0 is that a user browses for information, but the information on websites is static and the user would not be able to interact or comment on the information. On the other hand Web2.0 is… There are a number of characteristics of web2.0, one of which relates to collaboration and sharing information across the web. Examples of this include blogs, wikis, podcasts and social networking sites. These examples highlight how the web has become a publishing platform, where information can be easily shared, updated and commented upon. Another characteristic is the greater user interaction; either with other users or by running applications using their browser. With web2.0, the web is now a platform, where rather than using the traditional client installations, people can access and use applications via their browser without any regard to the operating system on their pc (or laptop, pda or mobile for that matter). Also, most web2.0 applications are open source, enabling a user to modify or expand an application, if they wish. Moving onto Web3.0 With web3.0, the emphasis will be on the use of intelligent searching and the context of information, rather than the presence of keywords. Currently with web2.0, a user selects a set of keywords to define their search for information on restaurants or holiday destinations etc. Then it is upto the user to scan the information on each of the pages selected by the search engine to assess their relevancy. In web3.0, the search engine will not only focus on keywords, but also interpret the context of your request to provide additional relevant information. For example, if you are making travel arrangements to London, a web3.0 type search may also suggest a particular type of restaurant or theatre show that is near your hotel based on your previous web searches. Web3.0 is still evolving with research into areas such as the semantic web and hybrid intelligence. How effective is my use of the web One way to measure the effectivness of your use of the web is to borrow some principles from a web maturity model. There are five levels; Initial – where the use of the web is ad-hoc with no controls Repeatable – where the use of the web for your business is a stable process well known throughout your business Defined – there is now consistency in the use of the web and a greater undersanding of how and why the web is being used Managed – where there is a set of metrics used to assess the effectiveness of the web (e.g. Number of visitors or downloads) Optimised – where your business is now continually improving the use of the web It is important to remember that these five maturity levels can be applied to any of the uses of the web from web1.0 to web3.0. So how effectve is YOUR use of the web?