The Web itself is undergoing change, Berners-Lee said, as a result of people's new uses of it. Until recently, the dominant metaphor for the Web was the HTML document or poage. But that's changing as a result of the rise of social Web sites such as FaceBook and mySpace. Today, users have to create at each site a document that lists their friends or contacts or buddies. "But what's important is the friends, not the document or Web page," he said.
Mobile internet standards coupled with the techniques and standards for the "semantic Web" (a framework for machine-to-machine data sharing) will create a kind of individualized information personality that users can carry with them anywhere and express in different contexts based on the available devices, displays and information needs. Book a flight from your home PC, have the essential details stored in your mobile phone, which then can "negotiate" with a large LED screen in an office or a coffee shop to show directions to the airport and a map of the nearest parking garage, for example.
"People have seen the benefits of open platforms," he said. "They have seen what the open Web is like. There's a huge understanding of its importance."
Network World is an InfoWorld affiliate.