Quoting Sir Tim Berners-Lee:
The Net links computers, the Web links documents. Now, people are making another mental move. There is realization now, “It’s not the documents, it is the things they are about which are important”.
Sir Tim expands the idea of the social graph – the links between people – with the idea of the semantic web and comes up with the idea of links between objects – or things (Not, as Mathew Ingram understands, just people and their relationships). He calls this the Giant Global Graph, GGG or just the graph.
The idea of the graph means that different web sites will have to let go of the silos of information they have about e.g. a person’s friends (through technology such as FOAF) and let other services access it to create something new and more relevant to the user.
Berners-Lee gives an example of a what this would mean in the future:
Then, when I book a flight it is the flight that interests me. Not the flight page on the travel site, or the flight page on the airline site, but the URI (issued by the airlines) of the flight itself. That’s what I will bookmark. And whichever device I use to look up the bookmark, phone or office wall, it will access a situation-appropriate view of an integration of everything I know about that flight from different sources. The task of booking and taking the flight will involve many interactions. And all throughout them, that task and the flight will be primary things in my awareness, the websites involved will be secondary things, and the network and the devices tertiary.
I have to argee with Sir Tim that we are moving to a more open and social web. He points out that at every step of the way we have had to give up some control on our information. I’m not just as positive as he is that most people are willing to do that. For even a more skeptic view you should turn to Alexander van Elsas’s Weblog.