First off, don’t worry about your website. Web 3.0 (or Web3 as it is now being referred to) is a move towards a decentralized worldwide web, built on a blockchain.
What can a decentralized web offer?
I believe Web 3.0 will take power out of the corporate hands and put it back into the hands of innovators. From a design standpoint, as the popularity of the web grew in the early 2000s, we went from ugly basic HTML text pages to beautifully animated and design-driven sites. Information could be conveyed in any number of appealing ways. Innovation was at its peak. Once the corporate entities invested heavily and users became centralized to specific portals, we went back to the dull text-driven pages. A blockchain-based worldwide web will increase innovation. A decentralized web also means that outages with cloud servers (like Amazon and Google have suffered recently) will be a thing of the past.
What is a blockchain?
Blockchain, the foundation of cryptocurrency, is a distributed ledger that guarantees the fidelity and security of a record of data without the need for a trusted third party. When a block of data is filled, it is permanent; a new block is then created, timestamped, and filled with new data. Hence, a block-chain. An irreversible, uneditable chain of data.
Versions of the WWW
Email, Forms, Read-only content, Banner advertising, owning content, millions of users
Blogging, Social Media, eCommerce, targeted advertising, sharing content, billions of users.
Immersion, context, visualization, content consolidation, AI, trillions of users
In the early days of the internet (Web 1.0), the majority of the information and services were spread out amongst a multitude of websites, pages, and portals. Web servers were largely owned and managed by individuals. Once corporate entities saw the popularity and earning potential of the web in the early 2010s we started to see information and web users flock to these more centralized portals/servers. After all, this was where the users were all at, right? This was Web 2.0.
With Web3, we will see information moved to the blockchain and off of these “centralized” servers.
So, what is wrong with a centralized web?
While centralizing users to a few major websites worked out great for corporations, it stifled the growth of the internet and found a way to siphon money from just about everyone. For instance, during web 1.0 local bands had their own websites, not a handful of social media accounts (like Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc). Small businesses would sell their wares directly from their website to their customers, not list items on portal sites like Amazon, Wall-Mart, eBay, or even Poshmark.
In my opinion, having users centralized to specific “portals” has increased the natural echo chamber we all live in. We are being served information that agrees with our opinions in an attempt to get into our wallets. A decentralized web will promote competition as well as exposure to different points of view.
What is the difference between blockchain and a standard database?
A blockchain is a distributed database that is shared among the nodes of a computer network and stores information in blocks of data. This means the information is not controlled by a single group or entity. Once it is entered into the block, it is set in stone. Due to the nature of its distribution, there is also no single point of failure. The function of a blockchain is to collect and distribute data, not edit it.
A regular database (SQL, etc) is located on a single computer rather than a network and holds its information in tables. The information can be edited, deleted, or otherwise compromised. This is one of the reasons backups are so vital to computer engineers and users.
This is really a topic unto itself; I recommend reading as much as you can about blockchain.
What happens to my website with Web3?
The bottom line is, nothing will change for your website right now. The migration to Web3 will be largely backend, unnoticeable to users or site owners. The things that we will see from Web3 in the future are more use of 3D, AI, virtual environments, and better user immersion. As Web3 is adopted, you will undoubtedly see a shift towards more interesting user interfaces.
With a background in design for the music industry, I bring a fresh approach to corporate and construction-related web projects.
I also write short, easy-to-digest articles on search engine and website performance-related topics.
My goal is to help clients better understand what SEOs do for them.
Michael Winchester is a website developer and search engine consultant in Southern California.
Michael Winchester Design | (562)283-5688