Saturday, September 12, 2009

So what is your definition for Web 3.0?

A journalist asked me this in an interview this week. My answer was that I do not believe that there necessarily will be a web 3.0. There was not a web 1.0, was there?

Beyond the Information Age
What then is the next big thing? It is the evolution of the wonderful things the Information Age has brought us and it has landed us "wham bam" in the middle of the Innovation Age. We now have the tools to create and share (photos, videos, stories, podcasts and more). Moreover, we are having FUN again... mashing up web content from everywhere for our own creative end result.

Take this blog as an example. I don't have copyright to most of the images I post here (oops) but I use the wonderful creativity of others, blend it with my own, to serve up something entirely new. It is no longer about simply sharing information. It is about innovation - telling a story in a whole new way by using puzzle pieces from all over the web. We have come to expect the unexpected.

Making Money with Social Media
The second question that had me pondering: "How is anyone making money through social media?" Well, we know the Google model of building traffic through tons of free stuff and then letting advertisers cough up for targeting groups of eyeballs.

We're moving from business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) distribution to consumer-to-consumer selling. Hence the phenomenal growth of online classified
sites like Kijiji. But more so, selling that bypasses commerce sites altogether.

Recently a friend updated her status on Facebook: "I cannot believe I am selling my very first vehicle." Response: "Why r u selling?" Second comment: "What year and model?" And so the conversation continued with comments from friends. A few days later my friend's status read: "It was hard to see her go." A much softer sell than we are used to for secondhand vehicles but the largest part of this deal was done in a social network.

So what about 3.0?
So, back to my definition of web 3.0... Firstly, I am not sure I like the phrase because simply, it lacks creativity. Secondly, I am witnessing an evolution from the Information Age to the Innovation Age. Thirdly, commercial models are changing and social networks are allowing us to cut out the middle man.

And lastly, I believe the user-experience will dominate. Away with visible browsers and connections to the Internet. All that will matter is that we have a great seamless digital experience, not caring about where the files are, how it downloads, where results are stored, what device we experience it on, or how it is processed.

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