Product & Startup Builder

Web 3.0 - Are you serious?

Added on by Chris Saad.
I am starting to get a little sick of talking about versioning the web - as I'm sure you are. But I've just found something that has forced me to address it again.

Have you seen this? It's a search from the Web 2.0 Workgroup website on Eurekster on their hottest topic at the moment - Web 3.0.

Web 3.0? Are you serious?

Apparently a lot of people are. More than I imagined.

It seems from the search results, though, Web 3.0 is some sort of Web 2.0 - except with more of everything. More mainstream users, more revenue (or finding a way to get revenue in the first place), more programmable etc.

First let me restate my case about Web 2.0 (*sigh*). 'Community' is not Web 2.0. Community is as old as Newsgroups and IRC (pre web) forums (web 1.0) and have merely changed shape with more sites dedicated to 'user generated content' (ugly term I know). So the community aspects of YouTube (for example) are not what make it Web 2.0.

The Web 2.0 part is more complex and profound - yet it all has a common theme - the participant is the most important entity in every transaction. You and I are in control.

It's about how the creative and editorial power is shifted from a central editor to a community of millions.

It's about making the site content portable through embedded players and syndication.

And it's about the CEO bloging about what they're doing so that the community has a transparent way of understanding the motives, intentions and direction of THEIR platform.

YouTube, however, is still not a fully realized Web 2.0 platform. It still tries to trap the user on their site. To drive traffic to their pages and to create a community on their terms.

The ultimate Web 2.0 solution is when I create my own platform and video is only part of my self-expression and community. Where my friends are my friends, irrespective of the tools they use or the content they create.

This platform is already emerging - to date they have been called Blogs, but I think blogs are much more important than people think. Maybe the name needs to change to suggest something grander than a 'Web Log' - but ultimately blogs are the ultimate form of participant power.

They are not a forum, yet there is a discussion going on.

They are not video hosting site, yet there can be video there.

They are not a photo sharing site, yet there are photos there.

They are not mySpace yet I have a list of subscribers (read: friends) and contacts (read: blogrolls).

They are not social news, yet Technorati and TechMeme seem to know what the top news is.

Blogs are the purest example of Web 2.0. They are decentralized, syndicated (and then aggregated), social, self-expressive personal islands that connect via a great ocean called the blogosphere.

So if we have not yet properly recognized, commercialized and leveraged Web 2.0 - why the heck are we talking about Web 3.0. Especially when it seems like the definition seems to be 'Web 2.0 for the masses'. If Web 3.0 is Web 2.0 for the masses, then that sounds to me like Mainstream adoption of Web 2.0.

I am queasy just writing all these version numbers.

Dreaming up the future is one thing, but trying to create a new buzzword so that you can be the first one who thought of it is quite another.

Web 2.0 represents something much more fundamental than a bubble of new software online. Web 2.0 represents the democratization of information and media. It is a change in the way we tell stories and connect to each other.

More importantly than that, however, It is a symptom of a cultural change in the civilized world from top down hierarchy to distributed participation and freedom of expression. Where the storytellers are no longer just manufactured celebrities – but you and me. Where what’s newsworthy today is not what’s popular for my demographic, but rather what is personally relevant to me.

Let's not trivialize this cultural change (it's greatest example being Web 2.0) by trying to jump ahead to some fantasy version number just because some of us want to pretend to be pioneers.