Geert Lovink on Sun, 14 Jan 2007 22:30:23 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Web 3.0: for the user, by the user, of the user

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 

"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"

"All the above-mentioned problems, the dominance, autonomy, privacy, 
and limitation of sharing, all come from a common cause: the fact that 
the Net users do not have a powerful web server of their own and do not 
have their own Web", observed Professor Sun Wu.

Because website is the main platform for information sharing as well as 
other Web activities, owning no website means having no power and no 
property in the Cyberspace. That is the root of the problems.

"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."

"In our opinion, Web 3.0 is a social revolution in the Cyberspace to 
pursue democracy; a Web that is for the user, by the user, and of the 

"Technically speaking, NUWeb is a user-centric software. It is a 
decentralized portal and information system aiming at providing a more 
efficient and effective information sharing, community service, and 
information management."

"NUWeb is composed of three main subsystems: NUWeb PP: A personal 
information and service platform for the users to set up their own 
portal right on their PCs. NUWeb CP: A community portal system, and, the community center of the NUWeb Cyberspace.", "With NUWeb, 
the users can set up their own websites in a few minutes easily without 
the need to apply for URL and without the need of knowledge for website 

"As the web server is resident in the user's own PC, the users have 
full control of the sharing regarding what to share and who to share, 
without the file size limitation. The users not only have a higher 
flexibility and capacity in the sharing, but also have a platform for 
managing the sharing with a full access control mechanism".

"On the other hand, the portal will be a federation of the 
regional portals and the personal portals". Like YouTube, Flickr, et. 
al., it will allow the users to participate and share their content. 
However, the Web 3.0 community portal makes a big difference in that 
there will be virtually no size limitation and that the community will 
be owned and governed by all the users."

"It will be a long way to go to really fulfill the idealism of Web 
3.0", commented Prof. Wu, "To successfully return the Web to the Net 
users, we need user's power!", "Only after the users are sufficiently 
empowered, and only when the user's power are unified together, can we 
successfully break the unjustified dominance in the Web and return the 
Web to all the Net users."

"NUWeb is a project for public interest and the source code will be 
open when the software is released", concluded Prof. Wu, "We wish that 
there will be more teams to participate in this Web revolution and we 
wish to seek supports and collaborations from all sectors, such as the 
government, universities, non-profit organizations, etc., around the 
world to work together for an ideal Web 3.0."

The URL of the NUWeb project is at
December 27, 2006 Photos from the Event
See also:

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