John Markoff stirred up the pot this weekend by launching Web 3.0, even while good ol’ Web 2.0 is still in beta (or alpha). And I didn’t even get to go to the launch party, although I did get to spend some time in the halls of the Web 2.0 conference. And the halls were the place to be for the conference – that’s where all the cool kids were hanging out (although I did cheer on Sling Media’s Blake Krikorian as he spoke with Beth Comstock from NBC – unfortunately John’s moderation of that session left a little something to be desired in my opinion).Nick Carr is applauding the 3.0 upgrade with his own personal style:
Personally, I’m overjoyed that Web 3.0 is coming. When dogcrap 2.0 sites like PayPerPost and ReviewMe start getting a lot of attention, you know you’re seeing the butt end of a movement. (There’s a horrible metaphor trying to get out of that last sentence, but please ignore it.) Besides, the arrival of 3.0 kind of justifies the whole 2.0 ethos. After all, 2.0 was about escaping the old, slow upgrade cycle and moving into an age of quick, seamless rollouts of new feature sets. If we can speed up software generations, why not speed up entire web generations? It doesn’t matter if 3.0 is still in beta – that makes it all the better, in fact.
Now the whole blogosphere is abuzz debating 2.0 v 3.0 v ??? Nick Bradbury states: “This weekend much of the geekosphere was buzzing about the “Web 3.0” article in the NY Times, but from where I stand, Web 3.0 does not validate.” Tim O’Reilly, Mr. Web 2.0 himself, isn’t on board, and Robert Scoble wrote a fun piece referring to it as Web 2007. Dan Farber seems to sit on the fence a little bit, but then Nick at Valleywag (nice redesign) goes straight for the jugular:
In short, the Times wants to announce a trend just in case that trend actually materializes in the next few months. But don’t bet on it — Google smelled a dud and didn’t touch this story, and neither should anyone looking for the real next big thing.
Here’s a summary of what I think, in easy to digest bullet form:
- The term “Web 3.0” will not gain general acceptance. Web 2.0 is too nebulous on its own, and since it’s more like an “era” than it is a “version number” it makes more sense that it’ll be identified further into the future as we look back on the era past Web 2.0.
- Agents are coming. If Web 2.0 is (roughly) all about AJAX, XML, and open APIs, then the logical evolution of implementing these technologies are intelligent agents. Agents don’t just tell me when a stock hits a price, agents tell me that I should buy some GOOG because my peers and my portfolio reflect that I’d be interested in it. Agents figure out that this weekend I am most interested in restaurants X, Y, and Z, and should hit a club where the DJ I like (because he spins the same music I have in my collection) has a set. Agents use the open datasets and figure things out for me.
- Data mining technologies are important. Anyone can collect data. Anyone can present data. Anyone can sort alphabetically. Building intelligence requires much deeper data analysis where datasets are viewed as a matrix of data, where seemingly unrelated information finally comes together to make sense. These technologies become the building blocks for the next generation of web services (agents, remember?).
- Buzzwords are getting more obnoxious. Even if there is a new era right around the corner (which seems doubtful), do we really need to label it???
I still miss the days when you had to design your Web site to ask users whether or not their browser could support tables. Sigh.