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The Third Wave Just getting used to Web 2.0? Hang on, because Web 3.0 is about to hit shore.

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

According to Nova Spivack, the next generation of web technology, known variously as the semantic web and Web 3.0, is closer than you think. He has started a company that aims to exploit the next generation of web technology, and he expects to launch his first product this year. Radar Networks, the San Francisco startup Spivack, 37, heads, is in stealth mode, and he won't say exactly what it has planned except that it won't compete directly with Google. "We're working on a different strategy," he promises. "It's a game-changing one."

The idea behind the semantic web is to make data on web pages and in online databases better able to be read and understood by computers and used and shared by different software applications. "The semantic web will do for data what the web did for documents," Spivack says. "It will make it universally searchable and sharable." The standard way to organize and present data on the semantic web is described by the Resource Description Framework, or RDF, which plays a role on the semantic web similar to the one HTML plays on the original web.

The Web 3.0 approach to accomplishing at least part of this grand vision is to take Web 2.0-style tagging and formalize and expand it so documents and other web data that now must be interpreted by humans can be read and understood by computers. "It's about the machine doing more work on your behalf," says Oren Etzioni, a computer science professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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