Blog Post

What's Next for the Web?

Monday’s GigaOM Bunker Event looked at where the web is headed. As Jennifer Martinez reported at GigaOM, “A group of technologists explored how the next generation of the web will use location, sensors built into devices such as our mobile phones, and other context clues to ‘give the Internet a body.'” We call this future the NewNet. This topic is hot right now — it is also the focus of this week’s Web 2.0 Summit, under way in San Francisco, with the theme “Web Squared.” As explained in the event’s introductory white paper, it is the five-years-on evolution of Web 2.0. If Web 2.0 was about utilizing — and making sense of — user-generated content, Web Squared is about harnessing the mountain of data generated automatically by real-time devices and sensors connected to the Internet of Things (objects, devices and household appliances, all connected to the Internet). If a pervasive, always-connected web that’s gathering data and using it intelligently and automatically is just around the corner, what does that mean for all of us? How will our working lives be affected when we’re not just connected to the web 24/7, but actively contributing data to it all the time? What are the implications for privacy and security?

In my latest post over on our subscription research site, GigaOM Pro, “Call it Real-Time, Squared, or NewNet, The Web Is Changing,” I look at some of the issues raised by these new technologies: information overload, end-user privacy and enterprise security. I also take a look at some of the opportunities that might exist for startups and app developers. Web workers have a lot to look forward to in the not-very-distant future — much more intelligent, context-aware apps should make all of our lives easier.