SAN FRANCISCO -- Web 2.0 Summit -- In a presentation here, Kevin Kelly, senior maverick at Wired, described the next 6,000 days of the Web as an always-on environment of data sharing, where every aspect of the world and our lives is connected to the Internet.
Kelly started his talk with a number, 6,527: the number of days since Tim Berners-Lee created the first Web page.
"All the things we see here on the Web, everything, has happened in 6,527 days. That's sort of an impossible achievement. There's not enough money in the world to accomplish all the things that have happened already."
Kelly describes the last 6,000 days or so as an era that began with linking packets and computers and eventually moved to linking pages. And if you've ever wondered what's coming after "Web 2.0," the next 6,000 days, Kelly says, will be about linking data. All of it.
"Every object we manufacture, every object we make, will have a little sliver of information in it -- maybe only as smart as an ant. So everything becomes part of this Web. Anything that can carry an electrical charge will be part of this Web," he says. "Basically, the entire world and everything in it becomes [part of] this database where it's reduced into elemental information, which is then linked and shared and restructured in a way that was not possible before."
The Web, says Kelly, will own every bit of information that is produced. "I almost think of it kind of like the Web is a black hole that's sucking up everything into it -- bringing it onto this one OS, which all information will flow through. Literally everything in our lives will be part of it and will carry some information that will speak the protocols... and that's beginning to happen already.
"It's something hard to talk about, but this social Web stuff gives us a new feeling and appreciation for the value of the collective."
But it won't just be a Web defined by optional sharing on Facebook, asserts Kelly, who referred to this next stage as "Semantic Web or Web 3.0 or Web 10.0 or Web Whatever." It will be an "extension of the self."
Showing a photo of a man with a cellphone strapped to his head with a rubberband, Kelly added, "The consequences of being off will become all the more apparent."
— Nicole Ferraro, Site Editor, Internet Evolution