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OPLIN 4Cast #778: Web3: Is the fanfare premature?

Posted in Metaverse, and Web 2.0

When it was born, the World Wide Web wasn’t called “Web 1.0.” That designation came along later, when a new, more participatory internet experience began to flourish, with users generating their own content on blogs, in groups, within online social networks. This “Web 2.0” has been with us for 20 years, and now the buzz is about what’s next: the metaverse, an experience built on what’s being called “Web3.” Besides encouraging us all to buy things that aren’t real, what’s all the hype really about?

  • How ‘Web3’ could evolve from a trendy buzzword to a better internet [Fast Company] “The blockchain may give users a way to carry their social content (and, perhaps, their reputation) with them between social sites instead of having it locked to Meta, Twitter, or TikTok. It might form the foundation of a new kind of marketplace for people selling physical or digital goods, as NFTs (nonfungible tokens) are already doing.”
  • What Is Web3 and Why Are All the Crypto People Suddenly Talking About It? [Slate] “A number of large companies and venture capital firms are already investing huge sums to build Web3, and it’s hard to imagine that their involvement wouldn’t amount to some kind of centralized power… Given how hard Facebook has fought to maintain its dominance in the social media landscape, it seems likely that it will strive to be a powerful institution even in a potential Web3 era.”
  • People are talking about Web3. Is it the Internet of the future or just a buzzword? [NPR] “In a Web3 world, people control their own data and bounce around from social media to email to shopping using a single personalized account, creating a public record on the blockchain of all of that activity… If part of the impetus is to resist giving up personal data to Big Tech companies, then the blockchain is not the solution, since that will make even more data public.”
  • Web 3 Social Media Needs Dedicated Blockchains [CoinDesk] “While today’s general-purpose blockchains have worked well for storage-light applications like decentralized finance (DeFi), they cannot scale to handle storage-heavy applications like social apps and marketplaces. Imagine a world in which every ‘like’ or follow on a decentralized app costs $1.00+ in storage fees.”

From the Ohio Web Library: