The web: what next?

Today Tim Berners-Lee was speaking in London. The father of the web was at a meeting discussing some of the hardest questions relating to the web. Why does the web work? Why are some web technologies a success, while others fail to take-off? These are some of the questions academics are trying to answer though an area of research called web science. The idea is that the web should be socially inclusive and scalable.

Today, sites like MySpace, YouTube and Facebook have captured the imagination of a generation of web users by providing a place for them to share audio/videos, images and make new friends. However, what they are offering isn’t so very different to the user-generated content (ie reviews) that Amazon offers and the rating system on eBay. It will be interesting to look at whether MySpace et al are still hot property in a decade time and the idea of social networking does indeed transcend social barriers and provide a new generation of scalable internet protocols.