Digital Marketing Insights

Before I go ahead and make some bold predictions about the future, let’s talk a little bit about the present. The Web as we know it today has become a significant portion of lifestyle for more than 2 billion people around the world. It helps us stay in touch with friends and family, makes us efficient by saving time and money, and assists us in making better personal and business decisions.

In fact, more than 80% of people in North America tend to do their research online prior to finalizing a purchasing decision. Essentially, it is a source to a world of information available at the convenience of our fingertips. Amazing how the web has evolved to influence us in ways we never thought possible just a few years ago.

Web Generations

The first generation web (Web 1.0) was very unidirectional. It was a intended to be used as a source of information which was posted by one controller. This included static websites, databases and online libraries. This still exists today and can be necessary for many businesses and service providers.

The second generation web (Web 2.0) took momentum when discussion forums, online surveys and various interactive tools came in to existence. This wave was fueled further when social media platforms allowed users to contribute to information and share it with their network. Feedback and online endorsement became valuable for businesses as users voiced their opinion.

According to Wikipedia, the term “Web 2.0” was coined by O’Reilly Media in 2004 and it emphasized online collaboration and sharing of information. The birth of Wikipedia itself where people around the world have contributed to this valuable source of information much larger than any library of encyclopedias, is proof of how powerful this wave actually is.

At this point some would argue that we have transitioned in to a Web 3.0 era of “The Intelligent Web”. Web 3.0 in fact was coined by John Markoff of the New York Times in 2006 which proposes artificial intelligence among web-based systems. In other words, online tools would learn human behaviour and adapt accordingly. We are already seeing this among many online tools and web applications.

Google for one was under fire for modifying their privacy policy during their attempt to merge their services with Google+ accounts and other Google products. The objective was to provide a more productive and intuitive user experience by evaluating online behaviour across multiple applications. This would allow the Google engine to deliver content that is more specific to user interests. This direction is up for debate as it might enforce access to limited information outside the “interest bubble” of users. Regardless, the direction is promising in terms of the open technologies that would power it.

So what next? Web 4.0 perhaps?

As we transition further in to more sophisticated technologies, it is expected that we would phase in to read – write – execution – concurrency web. A symbiotic relationship among a multitude of technologies that would serve us like a personal assistant. Bliss… A great talk by Tim Berners-Lee at TED in 2009, titled “The Next Web” explains this concept. However if you look at the trend, it seems that the more efficient we become, the busier we supposedly get. We happen to be great at finding ways to stay occupied even with the suite of automation and systemization tools today.

The transitions in our online experience tie in with the rapidly changing marketing trends today. A great source you can download freely can be found at It highlights some of the powerful marketing trends of “2013 and Beyond”.

As always, I welcome your feedback on this article. Please leave your comments below!

This article was originally published in the October/November 2013 edition of the Business View.

Mouneeb is an experienced digital marketing strategist with a passion for helping clients achieve their goals online. With over 15 years of experience in designing, developing, and managing a team that develops top-notch web projects, he brings a wealth of information to the teams that he leads and the leaders that he follows.

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