[stag_intro]The development of internet has really taken off over the last decades. Can you imagine a world without it?! Some say we are at the peak of ‘web 3.0′, on our way to the next era.  By making the personal computer reachable for the average consumer in the early 80’s, and creating ‘the’ internet ten years later, a force that changed the landscape throughout cultures enters our world. In this first blog I want to set the framework for a series of blogs I will write about Social Media.[/stag_intro]

The best way for me to understand the development of the web towards this thing we call ‘Social Media’, is looking at this timeline (see illustration below). Every decade has its own keyword. Up till now people distinguished four stages online. They are called ‘web 1.0′ till ‘4.0’. And to be honest, I made the keyword of ‘web 4.0′ up myself, because this is what I expect to happen. Although speaking of ‘web 4.0′ is still relatively new, it seems to be the logic next step. Let me quickly run you through those four stages.


Push (web 1.0 | 1990) – in this stage the internet is mostly company driven. They are ‘pushing’ their customers to go online, because they have published their brochure online. Mostly text based web. A lot to read, less to see. Websites are born in this stage. Different computer languages are developed. Like JavaScript or html.

Share (web 2.0 | 2000) – the internet slowly becomes the field of the customer, more than of the companies. At the peak of this stage YouTube is launched. That was back in 2005, this year they celebrated their 10th anniversary! Most of us can’t image daily life without it anymore. The web is the place where you share all kinds of things. Thoughts, pictures, photos, fragments of what is happening in life.

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The force of the online world is shaping the next generation and it is changing the essence of cultures.

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Live (web 3.0 | 2010) – online and offline living has become more and more integrated. Friendships are based on face-to-face contact and Facebook-to-Facebook. People blend reality and virtual reality into their life.  Some research even speaks of a basic need for living for the ‘digital natives’, a generation that is born after 1990 and never knew a world without internet. For developers web 3.0 is probably more known as the semantic web.


Smart (web 4.0 | 2020) – what does web 4.0 look like? That’s the major question for many trend watchers. Personally I think this will be the era of ‘smart’. All kinds of technology are making your life easier by anticipating to your daily life. The refrigerator that tells your smart watch that you run out of milk, when you are nearby your favorite supermarket…? The watch that monitors everything from your morning runs until the times you sleep, from climate regulation until adjusting the music and lights when you come home.


More and more we live in a world where the landscape is determined by what is happening online, what happens on social media. The force of the online world is shaping the next generation and it is changing the essence of cultures and the way people communicate and messages are valued, but also how the message of your organization is valued.

In next my blogs I want to share more about how this changing landscape influenced the thinking of the digital natives, (and not only them), and what is important to understand if you want to engage with your ‘target audience’, ‘persona’ on social media.


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