Web 3.0 for Web Content Management: What Could it Mean?

Victoria Burt

Web content has existed in various formats since the dawn of the internet, from static websites with basic text and images that get consumed by users (Web 1.0) to the dynamic web applications and immersive digital experiences found today where users contribute and consume content (Web 2.0). As new technologies emerge, the ways that content gets created and consumed continues to change. 

The latest buzzword drawing everyone’s attention is Web 3.0 or Web3. This decentralized version of the internet built on blockchain technology has been talked about for a few years. Still, its impact on the future has been seriously considered over the last year. But what is it? How might it change the future of the digital experience space? 

What Is Web 3.0? 

Web 3.0 (Web3) is the next iteration of the internet– a decentralized version that places focus on openness, user utility, and democratization of information. Unlike the current version of the internet, the main focus of Web3 is decentralization. This means that no central authority controls whether or not users can post something on the web. It also means that there is no single point of failure, promoting freedom and limiting censorship. 

Web3 leverages the latest technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The key features of Web3 are:

  • Openness: Build with open source software that is available to everyone.

  • Trustless: Users can interact publicly and privately without an intermediary between them.

  • Permissionless: There is no permission necessary for anyone to use the web. 

From Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 to Web 3.0

To get a clearer understanding of what Web 3.0 truly means, we need to take a closer look at the versions of the internet that came before–  Web 1.0 and the current Web 2.0. 

Web 1.0 

Web browsers entered the picture after the internet was invented and began the Web 1.0 era. This period was characterized by static web pages and allowed users to receive email and view news. While there was content, not much was user-generated as we find today. 

Web 2.0 

Web 2.0 brought about a shift in how the internet was viewed. Text-based web pages have been replaced by dynamic content, social media platforms, and user-generated content that is viewed by millions of people. Smartphones and social networks have accelerated the growth of the internet and enabled dominant tech giants such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

In terms of content management, Web 2.0 has seen custom static content management systems evolve into the headless CMSs and DXPs we see today that deliver content to a host of digital touchpoints, including web pages, mobile apps, digital kiosks, smart speakers, and more. 

Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0

Web 3.0 continues to garner interest because it allows users to build, grow and control their own networks rather than relying on platforms like Google, Facebook, and other major tech companies to facilitate access as they do today. 

With Web 3.0, users have more ownership of digital assets in the form of things like NFTs and cryptocurrency tokens, as well as, most critically, their data. One of the drawbacks of Web 2.0 is that customer data is owned and sold by corporations. Web 2.0 was meant to build communities and prompt social interaction, whereas Web 3.0 empowers individuals. Applications on Web 2.0 were built using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, whereas Web 3.0 applications are built using blockchain, AI and machine learning. 

What Web 3.0 Means For Content Management

The changes that Web 3.0 has introduced will significantly impact content management, even if it takes some time for these things to become a reality. Here’s how Web 3.0 will impact content:

Faster Digital Transformation

The introduction of Web3 means that digital transformation is likely to be accelerated across several industries. Many companies have already adopted headless and hybrid-headless content management systems to replace their traditional or legacy platforms. These businesses will need to continue this trend and ensure that they can build composable DXPs that are flexible to withstand the changes that Web3 will bring. Those that fail to do so may not just fall behind but cease to exist.

Increased Security

Blockchain technology coupled with decentralization means that Web3 will provide greater security options for content management systems. Blockchain can enable stronger authentication protocols, making it harder for hackers to access valuable information. 

Privacy and Customer Data

There is a more significant focus on privacy and how customer data is managed in Web 3.0 than Web 2.0. With content stored on the immutable blockchain, the original content will be protected and customers will have more control over what data companies can use. 

Decentralized Content Delivery

While a CDN primarily focuses on cached data in a cloud environment, the use of edge computing can accelerate the growth of streaming services, gaming, iOT, and other content channels by bringing the creation and processing of data closer to the end-user. At the same time, the ownership of collected data shifts from service providers to end-users.  

The Future of Content Channels

Web 3.0 will provide companies with more channels for content delivery as well as where and how customers view content. The metaverse, a 3D virtual world, will grow in prominence, and brands will need to establish themselves and deliver content to that virtual reality realm. In addition, other content marketing and digital channels like conversational marketing, IoT, AI, VR/AR, voice, and other new Web 2.0 focus areas will become the norm in Web 3.0.

How a Composable DXP Facilitates Web3 Experiences

Web 3.0 brings a lot of promise for organizations that are prepared for it. When it comes to content management, legacy architectures and technologies will have been rendered obsolete. Instead, modern technologies like a composable DXP built on headless architecture will enable Web 3.0 experiences. Here’s how: 

Multi Channel Content Delivery

A composable DXP provides the foundation for delivering content to the metaverse and any other web 3.0 based channel. Built on microservices and leveraging headless technology, a composable DXP can easily connect to any front-end channel, whether it’s the metaverse, a new IoT device, or a modern website.

Decentralized Communities

A composable DXP enables brands to create communities and portals for decentralized groups. While Web 2.0 systems encourage social interaction, they can also limit who gets to be part of specific communities. With Web 3.0, the silos that hinder community growth are removed, and businesses can attract new customers from anywhere. 

Future-Proof Architecture

Web 3.0 can be disruptive for businesses that aren’t prepared for new content delivery channels or the potential software tooling that could be created for it. A composable DXP with a headless CMS at the center provides a future-proof architecture that leverages an API-first approach to integrate easily with any new software or deliver content to alternate channels. Because a headless CMS is front-end agnostic, developers can build digital experiences for these new channels as they emerge. 

Cross-functional Collaboration

Web 3.0 will facilitate different forms of communication and collaboration that aren’t limited to the devices we use today. As the number of connected devices increases, so will the opportunities for collaboration across the organization. With the help of a composable DXP, organizations will be able to seamlessly connect, develop streamlined workflows that incorporate multiple departments, and more. 

MACH Architecture

 MACH architecture(microservices, APIs, cloud, and headless) is beginning to make waves in the current Web 2.0 model, enabling organizations to easily adapt to change, experience faster time to market, and more. That adaptability will make it easier for businesses to embrace the next iteration of the internet. However, a strict MACH architecture that relies on a pure headless CMS still has a number of flaws

Prepare for a Decentralized Future With dotCMS

The decentralized future of Web 3.0 may be exciting for some companies and daunting for others. However, there is no need to be concerned with the right technology foundation. 

Opting for a hybrid headless CMS and composable DXP means you don’t need to fear what Web3 may or may not be. dotCMS provides a hybrid headless CMS and content as a service model that is the foundation for your composable DXP and can prepare you for a decentralized future. 

As a hybrid CMS, dotCMS combines the headless functionality needed for Web 3.0 with traditional authoring tools, including features like drag-and-drop editing, no code content modeling, versioning, and an API-first architecture that includes GraphQL. dotCMS provides the freedom, interoperability, and extensibility that developers need while enabling marketers to create content in an intuitive visual environment, which is not often the case with a pure headless CMS. Discover more about how dotCMS helps to enable your digital transformation in this recorded webinar

Image Credit: JJ Ying
Victoria Burt
Director of Product Marketing
August 23, 2022

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