NUWeb: A project for Web 3.0: for the user, by the user, of the user!

Taiwan’s National ChungCheng University announced, in a press conference held in Taipei on December 27, a Web 3.0 project with a goal to build a new Web that is for the user, by the user, and of the user.

Prof. Sun Wu, the leader of the project, said, “In Web 1.0, contents of the Web were provided by Content Service Providers (CSP) such as news companies or general institutes who set up websites to provide the information service, while the users are purely information consumers. In Web 2.0, many web service providers, such as Myspace, blogger, Youtube, Flickr, digg, Wikipedia, etc., set up websites that allow the users to participate in community sharing and collaboration, so the users are no longer purely information consumers, they are also the content providers. In a sociological sense, Web 2.0 is an era that the Web is for the user and also by the user.”

“However”, Professor Wu continued, “The Web 2.0 era still have some serious problems that makes it far from being an ideal Web era, so there is a need for the Web to move on to its next stage.”

“Although the Web was once dreamed to be a Utopia, the cruel fact is that the Web is now basically in the hands the commercial power. More extremely, the Web is now dominated by the super empires: Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, which control over 80% of the Web power. Most Net users are basically living on the free services provided by the super empires in the Web, yet ironically, such services are for the purpose of making money. The dominance problem causes two other serious problems, the autonomy and the privacy problems. As the Net users rely more and more on these super portals, their personal data and privacy are at stake, being potentially utilized for monetization, or even worse, being leaked out to criminal groups. As the service platform is owned by the service providers, the users do not have autonomy. They have to agree to an unfair TOS (terms of service) before they are entitled to receive the service. When YouTube was sold for 1.6 billion US dollars, its users have no say and no share at all even though the value of YouTube was created by tens of millions of “You” in this Tube.”

“Info-sharing which is the most attractive feature of the Web is still limited and sometimes inconvenient in the Web 2.0 era. For example, the Net users very often have to take a lot of effort to upload pictures or other stuff to the web service sites, which could be time consuming or cumbersome. As the servers have space limitation, the sharing is limited by size too. Such tedious processes and the size limitations sometimes would discourage the information sharing at all. For example, for a group of friends who join a trip together and return with giga bytes of pictures and videos, it will be a headache as to how to share those multimedia files”

“Our solution is the NUWeb project“, said Prof. Wu with a smile. “NUWeb, which stands for Net User’s Web, is a new Web system for the Net users. It is a project to pursue the Web 3.0 idealism. It will empower the Net users by providing a software that will turn the user’s PC into a high power Web service site through which the users can conduct information sharing, community service, blog publishing, etc., in a much more efficient and convenient way, with virtually no size limitation and with full autonomy of their own.”

(via Bruce Sterling)

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