Imagine a semantic Internet, more self-aware and intelligent; a network, which is so personalised to the point where a user receives Parliamentary bills, government briefs, manifestos, policy ideas and even the ability to vote online. Connecting either via a Twitter or Facebook account could give you access to how the government is spending your taxes and even how the fiscal agenda is actually affecting your income. This futuristic Web 4.0 has created a more vibrant, transparent and accountable government with a direct relationship with individuals.
Scary, yes? Unimaginable? – you’d be surprise how close this reality is.
The Foreign Office already discusses and informs Twitter users of foreign affairs, developments and travel advice; even holds Q&A sessions and ask users how the government can improve relations with other countries. The Budget of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is published on Twitter, with the Treasury distributing charts and graphs to provide transparency on public spending and taxation.
Now party leaders, elected officials and candidates are extending campaigning to Twitter and other forms of social media; a wider target audience, significantly cheaper and instant feedback is much more useful than blanketing a street with leaflets.
10 years ago, the Internet was a collection of small communities, sharing common interests and values; now, it has morphed into a globalised reality with intelligent and sophisticated networks, designed to allocate and filter information based on user preferences. This is Web 3.o; the present world.
Web 4.0 is different. We would not need to provide recommendations and preferences – the Internet would already know what we wanted. As I discussed earlier on Twitter, the sense of a ‘online community’ is coming to an end. Whether by television or phones, we will always be connected to the Internet. It is obvious, at some point in the next decade, governments will make a online transitions to end political apathy and encourage participation.
Whether you like it or not, its the future.