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The Theory Behind Web 3.0 (Semantic Web) And Blockchain Contributions

Nemanja Grubor 8 July, 2021 | 7 min read

Introduction

In this article, we will talk about Web 3.0 (Semantic Web) and Blockchain contributions to it.

Web 3.0 (Semantic Web)

Web 3.0 implies the use of intelligent technologies, which will allow computer devices to understand the context in which information is created, distributed, and perceived. Web 3.0 is based on the idea of defining a data structure with more efficient detection, by automating and linking this data in different applications. Web 3.0 also represents a new paradigm in the field of PR (Public Relations) with two closed concepts:

  • Linked Data
  • Internet of Things (IoT)

The two most important consequences of this paradigm are to enable information to find people, and that public relations become relations with things. PR will become even more important, as PR messages will be more focused on specific users and will play a very important role in making every business decision.

Web 1.0 and Web 2.0

From the moment the term Web 2.0 was popularized as a new model of social software, as a consequence, the term Web 1.0 appeared to denote the initial phase of the Internet, and soon the term Web 3.0 as a concept that carries new imaginations about the future internet and digital communications. Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 are distinguished according to technological, structural, and sociological foundations. Technological components are related to programming and the technology used for web design. Structural foundations are related to the purpose and presentation of the website, and sociological views on the term of linking groups online.

According to analysis, Web 1.0 was used as a communication tool to transfer established resources. Such transfer mostly involved hierarchically designed websites whose content was controlled by small groups or individuals. As a consequence, participation in content creation was limited. Only those who knew HTML could set the content to the Internet.

One of the most important differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is in opportunities for user participation given that the majority of users on Web 1.0 operated only at the level of content users, while on Web 2.0, any user can also be a content creator. Also, numerous resources are created to maximize the possibilities of content creation. Web 2.0 is, therefore, read-write internet, as opposed to read-only Web 1.0, because it allows the user to become a creator, not just a consumer of information, whether the user participates with his/her own content, or by mixing other people's content, i.e. to participate with comments and tagging various Internet media.

The term Web 2.0 describes the participatory and social elements of the Internet media that enable interactive, global, and social connections on the Internet allowing users to both use and create content through virtual social connections. Some other terms are also used to describe the same thing, e.g. read and write web and social web, which indicates that this term refers to the reversal in online tools and practices, and towards increasing user interactions. However, it is important to emphasize the difference between the term Web 2.0 and the notion of a social network, given the fact that Web 2.0 is also a platform for new technologies and concepts on which various social networks are built.

In short, Web 2.0 is an everyday reality, although there are still websites that can be classified as Web 1.0 content, and Web 3.0 is something that is yet to come, though used already in some elements.

Linked Data And Internet of Things (IoT)

Two concepts are important for understanding Web 3.0:

  • Linked Data
  • Internet of Things (IoT)

The term Linked Data is a term that is used to describe methods for publishing structured data, thus, to be able to connect. This method is based on standard web technologies, but in a way, that serves not only web users, but that computers themselves can understand them, and that is one of the prerequisites of the semantic web.

Simply put, the ideal goal of this concept is for the web to become a network of all data, and not what now prevails, that is a concept of a network of documents.

Another important concept, which can be linked with Web 3.0, is the concept of the Internet of Things. Internet of Things is defined as the internet connection of things and devices that have certain built-in sensors and bar codes, and which communicate with each other and with the various Internet services and applications. When we say things, it includes everything: telephones, cafes, washing machines, lamps, clothing, cars, etc.

So, "internet stuff" is not just part of smart homes and connected home appliances. It is a concept that also includes "smart cities" through which traffic signals for routing can be controlled. One of the most useful applications is in healthcare, where many health monitoring devices are used.

In such a context, today's PR strategies in digital communication will be ineffective in informing and influencing the public. PR messages will be much more effective if they are built into everyday things, which will be connected to the Internet of Things.

New Implications

One of the few implications of using Web 3.0 in the future is that information will find people, not the other way around. We will need a lot less time to search for relevant information. Web 3.0 will enable PR professionals to spend more time on what they do best, and those are designing and disseminating messages to their clients. Web 3.0 will use user-web profiles, so they can find the right products and information.

It could be said that Web 3.0 in itself will be an ideal PR professional. Such an approach is already being successfully implemented in Google AdWords, which uses web-user profiles based on cookies and keywords so that the user gets targeted ads. This program was so successful, that it became one of the main sources of income from an ad on Google, which in 2016 was nearly $ 80 billion. The same can be said for online social networks, especially for Facebook. This makes them cost-effective targets for fake news and unverified information.

Although the practice of placing fake news dates back to the 19th century through the concept of the "yellow press", Facebook and Google must not allow them to be used to spread fake news. Google and Facebook, however, must not allow this to happen because they will lose trust. Their sheer size and importance do not allow them to be at the level of the "yellow press", and therefore, they invest heavily in technology and content monitoring. While the problem of trust remains, Web 3.0 will certainly be the environment in which the information will locate people.

Some of the consequences of the operation of Web 2.0 are a reduction in the impact of mass media and increasing the ability of co-authorship. Web 2.0 is sometimes called the "participatory web" because it allows influence to be personalized. Friends on social networks have a greater influence than the mass media on decisions about what to buy, what movie to watch, what news to read/watch, etc. This personalization will only be enhanced with We 3.0 and the Internet of Things, where the ability to choose and personalize the network will be even bigger.

Possibility of Control

An important consequence for public relations is that everyone could be a spokesperson (but also a critic) of the corporation - the product. The sheer complexity of the network will make user analysis much harder because the data will not be in one place. But, the bigger data access on any part of the network will make this analysis more accurate. This is the context in which people, things, organizations, media, and ideas are bound in complex, non-hierarchical networks.

With the development of Web 3.0, it will be normal to operate in situations where control over the process of creating and disclosing the information is lost. In Web 2.0, we can't control how our message is shared on social networks. The features of Web 3.0 create such a digital context and a network of things within which it is unthinkable to establish such control models. But, there is a gain in that control loss, which is that the message will be received with a greater degree of personality and concreteness, so there will be a greater possibility that the message has a certain effect.

Although control over the PR process will be lost, and, though the algorithm themselves will take over a huge part of PR professional activities, it will not destroy the PR profession. On the contrary, PR will become even more important. In a world where everyone's opinion is important, PR will play an even more important role in every business decision. PR messages will become even more focused on specific users. The ability for users to implement "pull" strategies, how they would get relevant information as needed, means fewer PR "push" strategies. Because of such a simple approach to the target group, a PR campaign will enable the development and maintenance of deeper and more productive relationships between PR and users.

In the same way that Web 3.0 can help PR reach its target user audience, users will be able to reach the manufacturers which are more closely tied to their needs, which will lead to a dominance of one-on-one relationships, replacing traditional one-to-many relationships in PR activities. This means that the PR staff will have to know the users better, but also the digital media, which means that the role of PR can only gain importance with Web 3.0.

One of the essential elements of the future Internet will be the Internet of Things. This means that PR will also be more than just human relations, but also "things" relations. As we have already noticed in the case of fake news, many have realized that in the era of Internet communication, machine communication, or more precisely, an algorithm, communication with the target group of users is an essential part of the process. There is also the whole industry of providing PR services under the name "SEO" (Search Engine Optimization), which deals with optimizing websites in a way that they are ranked on search engines, or more precisely, on Google, the leading information browser on the Internet.

To remain the leading search engine, Google is doing everything in its power so that such web page optimizers do not "read" it, and therefore often it changes its search algorithm and punishes such scam attempts by placing them deep at the back of the list of found information. This case shows that if Web 1.0 was one-way communication, and Web 2.0 two-way communication, then Web 3.0 will be three-way communication, which, in addition to sending and receiving information, will also include a computer and its algorithms. However, the Internet of Things proposes multifaceted communication in which there will be as many sides as there are things bound in the network.

Blockchain Contributions To Web 3.0 (Semantic Web)

Blockchain architectures are technologies that are already available and can make Web 3.0 happen (decentralization of the World Wide Web). Some decentralized domain name systems (e.g. by Etherium) are now available. They often use blockchain to build a fully decentralized DNS-like global system (no business can censor a website or take ownership of a domain).

Author's avatar
Nemanja Grubor
My name is Nemanja Grubor. I am a Bachelor of Engineering student experienced in Oracle PL/SQL Database Development and Core PHP. I am currently working as a freelance content writer at WorksHub.

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