The evolution of the Internet, key factor for the interactive documentary (II)

October 16, 2011

Research, Technology

In this second part of the post “The evolution of the Internet, key factor for the interactive documentary “, we will focus on the last stages, Internet 3.0 and 4.0.

Web 3.0: following on from the immediacy of the new version of the Web and in view of the cognitive inability to reflect on the new concepts created by it with sufficient calm, some authors have begun to refer to the third version, which is a new stage in the evolution of the Internet. This new stage coincides with the global Internet considered in terms of a read-write media and from the standpoint of access to content; it is the automatic semantic web. It is a smart network, with capabilities based on the application of expert artificial intelligence systems (Codina, Marcos and Pedraza, 2009).

The different stages of the web, the main concepts and their applications

Source: Van Oranje, C. et al. (2008), The future of the Internet Economy: a discussion paper on critical issues.
Available at:

In Figure 1, van Oranje (2008) makes a distinction between the semantics of information and social semantics, and their interdependencies are related. The trend appears to be towards the higher phase, located in the timeframe of the decade 2020-2030 and the new phase called Web 4.0.

The Web 4.0 is beginning to be considered in terms of a future reality, in which operating systems and local software will no longer exist or will coexist with server software. If we consider the parameters of Moore’s Law[1]the speed of access will be much faster, the components will be much smaller and personal digital gadgets will have almost human intelligence[2].

You can expand the information on the characterization of the interactive documentary reading some of my articles: “The Interactive Documentary. Definition Proposal and Basic Features of the Emerging Genreand “The Interactive Documentary. Definition Proposal and Characterization of the New Emerging Genre” (2011).

Also available on these links some of my presentations and communications at events and conferences, as performed for the I-Docs Symposium (Bristol, 2011) and the McLuhan Galaxy Conference (Barcelona, ​​2011).


Schematic diagram presenting the various types of web, the timeframe covered, the associated technology and characteristics of each type:


Arnau Gifreu Castells

Researcher, Professor and Producer

Universitat Ramón Llull / Universitat de Vic



Berenguer, X. (2004), “Una dècada d’interactius”. Temes de Disseny, 21, pàg 30-35.
Codina , Ll.; Marcos, M. C.; Pedraza, R. (2009), Web Semántica y Sistemas de Información Documental. Gijón: Trea.
“Del Web 2.0 al Web 3.0: nous models de negoci i oportunitats empresarials en la Xarxa del futur” (2009), L’Anella (Unitat d’Anàlisi i Prospectiva de l’Obervatori de Mercats Exteriors). Acció 10 (Generalitat de Catalunya).
Kurzweil, R. (1999), La era de las máquinas espirituales: cuando los ordenadores superen la mente humana. New York: Penguin Group.
— (2005), La singularidad está cerca. New York: Penguin Group.


Recommended citation:

Gifreu, Arnau (2010), El documental multimèdia interactiu. Per un proposta de model d’anàlisi. [Treball de recerca]. Departament de Comunicació. Universitat Pompeu Fabra, pp 12-16.

Gifreu, Arnau (2010). The interactive multimedia documentary. A proposed model of analysis. [Research Pre PhD]. Department of Communication. Universitat Pompeu Fabra, pp 71-78.

[1]Moore’s law states that the number of transistors on a computer doubles approximately every two years.This empirical law, formulated by Gordon E. Moore on April 19, 1965, in Electronics Magazine, has been fulfilled to date. The principles that this law entails are as follows: (1) the power doubles and the cost rises by 2% every 18 months; (2) there is a shift to another order of magnitude every 10 years; (3) the best computer today has 1% of the power that will be available in 20 years’ time.

[2]Raymond Kurzweil (1999, 2005) considers different scenarios closely related to an intelligent web and a possible effective connection between human brains and computers (which he calls the “immortality of the soul”). The following files related to the author are available online:;


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5 Responses to “The evolution of the Internet, key factor for the interactive documentary (II)”

  1. Sandra Gaudenzi Says:

    Hi Arnau,

    thanks for this historical overview – and futurcasting – but, while I read your article I cannot stop wondering: what does this mean for the i-doc form? If web 2.0 is starting to show how a documentary can be (partially) collaborative… how is the semantic web going to influence the form? What will we be able to do that we cannot do now?
    Any ideas?


  2. Arnau Gifreu Says:


    as you well comments, Web 2.0 (now) is starting to show what can be done with an i-doc to be more participatory. It is as if we were in the first act of a play. The presentation started from 80-90’s and we are currently in the first stage. I estimate that within a few years we will enter to a second act with still more to come.

    The possibilities and combinations of themes, supports, platforms and user experience variations that open – and if not wait to see what’s Festival Mozilla brings in relation to HTML 5 and Apps this November… – are virtually endless. And there you could link to what you termed in your research as “living organisms and systems that are self-sufficient from initial parameters” and the proximity to the “principle of the technological singularity” that I analyze in my PhD research. There will come a time when the systems will be so complex that it will be difficult to intervene and modify its own dynamics. But I think, not to extend too much on the comments, that it is preferable to create a new post which exemplifies what technology has done or can contribute at each stage (past, present and future).

    Regarding the form, I think everything is going to be so connected that i-docs, as other genres, will fulfill more functions than the recreational one, such as learning and formation, therapy, analysis, assisted knowledge and so on. It could be possible that all the i-docs can be converted into a large i-doc container through semantic relations, and not only search or browse for one of them, but also have access to all or most interesting parts/modes/methods related through other layers of augmented reality, etc.

  3. Max Says:

    There are good ideas in this article .. This site is one of my favorite


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