Failed Internet mogul Alan Meckler is really excited about the Semantic Web, aka Web 3.0! And who can blame him, since he pretty much failed at versions 1.0 and 2.0? Meckler, who has run a passel of third-rate Internet websites since the early '90s, when he was best-known for trade titles like CD-ROM Librarian, now calls his company WebMediaBrands. Laurel Touby's Mediabistro.com is part of his collection. The boa-bedecked editrix reports breathlessly on Twitter that her boss has called the Semantic Web "the next stage of the Internet."
What is the Semantic Web? Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, came up with the notion in 2001 as a followup to his hypertext creation. After "Web 2.0" became synonymous with cool kids hanging out at Mission Wi-Fi cafes putting rounded corners on websites, people adopted "Web 3.0" as a name for the Semantic Web movement. Business 2.0 attempted an explanation a few years ago:
[The Web is] basically a compendium of billions of text documents designed to be read by humans. You can search it for keywords, but the results aren't much use until you sort through them to find the page that has the info you want.
To take the Web to the next level — to move from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 — the information in those documents will have to be turned into data that a machine can read and evaluate on its own. Only then will computers be able to take over tasks we now do by hand: find the nearest restaurant, book the best flight, buy the cheapest CD.
What does this have to do with Alan Meckler, you ask? Absolutely nothing! But we're sure he will come up with some cheaply produced website staffed by talentless hacks to write drivel about it.