The Evolution of the Web

The web has evolved a lot over the years, and its applications today are almost unrecognizable from its most early days. The evolution of the web is often partitioned into three separate stages: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web3.

What is Web 1.0?

Web 1.0 was the first iteration of the web. Most participants were consumers of content, and the creators were typically developers who build websites that contained information served up mainly in text or image format. Web 1.0 lasted approximately from 1991 to 2004.

Web 1.0 consisted of sites serving static content instead of dynamic HTML. Data and content were served from a static file system rather than a database, and sites didn’t have much interactivity at all.

You can think of Web 1.0 as the read-only web.

What is Web 2.0?

Most of us have primarily experienced the web in its current form, commonly referred to as web2. You can think of web2 as the interactive and social web.

Web2 began to evolve when people became aware that web2.0 was possible through dynamic HTML and JavaScript. Web2 was the first iteration of the web that allowed anyone to create dynamic, web-native content. As a result, you can think of web2 as the “read-write” web.

Web2.0 was also the first iteration of the web to gain widespread adoption. The industry saw this as the end goal of the web, and it became common practice to design websites to be web 2.0.

At the same time, we saw the explosion of web application development, and soon we began to see many developers and designers use this as a jumping-off point to build more complex websites.

You can think of web2 as the interactive and social web.

As we have seen, in the web2 world you don’t have to be a developer to participate in the creation process. Many apps are built in a way that easily allows anyone to be a creator.

If you want to craft a thought and share it with the world, you can. If you want to upload a video and allow millions of people to see it, interact with it, and comment on it, you can do that too.

Web2 is simple, really, and because of its simplicity more and more people around the world are becoming creators.

The web in its current form is really great in many ways, but there are some areas where we can do a lot better.

In web2, you don’t have any control over your data or how it is stored. In fact, companies often track and save user data without their users’ consent. All this data is then owned and controlled by the companies in charge of these platforms.

Thus, here is where web3 arise.

Web3 aims to solve many of these shortcomings by fundamentally rethinking how we architect and interact with applications from the ground up. 

There are a few fundamental differences between web2 and web3, but decentralization is at its core.

A new way of building companies

Tokens also bring about the idea of tokenization and the realization of a token economy.

Imagine that a new and exciting project is announced that solves a real problem. Anyone can participate in building it or investing in it from day one. The company announces the release of x number of tokens, and give 10% to the early builders, put 10% for sale to the public, and set the rest aside for future payment of contributors and funding of the project.

Stakeholders can use their tokens to vote on changes to the future of the project, and the people who helped build the project can sell some of their holdings to make money after the tokens have been released.

Because blockchain data is all completely public and open, purchasers have complete transparency over what is happening. This contrasts with buying equity in private or centralized businesses where many things are often cloaked in secrecy.

This is already happening in the web3 space.


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