The next thing after 2.0!

It seems technology suffers from fashion as much as the fashion industry in that we must keep moving on to the next big thing before we have even understood the current thing. Regardless, despite disliking the term and being too lazy to even attempt defining a new one, recently I took the bait over at ReadWriteWeb to provide a definition for Web3.0; It seems they liked my definition of Web3.0. Here is what I wrote:

Web 1.0 – Centralised Them.
Web 2.0 – Distributed Us.
Web 3.0 – Decentralised Me

Hindsight: Web 1.0 turned into a broadcast medium. It was all about them. A case of industrial age thinking applied to a new landscape. Web 2.0, largely based on an analysis of what worked in Web1.0, is an alignment with TBL’s initial vision of the Web. The Web as connective tissue between us. Platform, participation and conversation. Really it is more than the Web. It is the Internet. It is new practices too. Ultimately it is about connectivity; applying constrains in the form of some sort-of agreed upon standards that make it easier to talk to one another. With new layers of connective wealth come new tools. In Web2.0’s case that allowed new forms of communication. With it associated ‘acceptable’ business models – hence the Google economy.

Web 1.0 was the first time to show the value of standards, Web 2.0 is teaching us how liberating standards can be. Web 3.0 will reflect on what worked in Web2.0. It will mean more constraints for better communication/connectivity. Improved connectivity will mean revised practice and new business models.

Therefore Web 3.0 must be about me! It’s about me when I don’t want to participate in the world. It’s about me when I want to have more control of my environment particularly who I let in. When my attention is stretched who/what do I pay attention to and who do I let pay attention to me. It is more effective communication for me!

When it is about me it means Web 3.0 must be about more semantics in information, but not just anything. Better communication comes from constraints in the vocabularies we use. Micro formats will lead here helping us to understand RDF and the Semantic Web. With more concern over my attention comes a need to manage the flow of information. This is about pushing and pulling information into a flow that accounts for time and context. Market based reputation models applied to information flows become important. Quality of Service (QOS) at the application and economic layer where agents monitor, discover, filter and direct flows on information for me to the devices and front-ends that I use. The very notion of application [Application is a very stand-alone PC world-view. Forget the Web, Desktop, Offline/Online arguments] disappears into a notion of components linked by information flows. Atom, the Atom API and semantics, particularly Micro formats initially, are the constraints that will make this happen. Atom features not because of technical merit but by virtue of it’s existing market deployment in a space that most EAI players won’t even consider a market opportunity. Hence Web based components start using Atom API as the dominate Web API – Feed remixing is indicative. Atom will supplant WS* SOA.

User centric identity takes hold. This extends the idea that everyone has an email address and mobile number, why not manage it for single sign-on and more. Universal Address-book anyone?

More Market based brokerage business models emerge, earning revenue on the ‘turn’, as we learn more about the true power of AdSense/Adword’s underling business model and realise there are close parallels to the worlds financial markets.

Reliable vocabularies, user identity and trusted [i.e. user controllable] reputation models, market based brokerage business models all become a necessity as the more decentralized event driven web becomes a reality.

Web 3.0 – a decentralized asynchronous me.

There were a few things I forgot to put into the above definition and from the comments a few things that need explanation. I’ll attempt to expand on the above in latter posts as I’m a little stuck for time.

What I left off is the relationship to the physical world; “the Internet of Things” with 2D Bar Codes, RFID etc. and Just-in-time just-about-one-to-one manufacturing that is partly represented by what Threadless and others are doing. I’ll also need to clarify what I mean by Them, Us, Me. And why Web 3.0 cannot be classified as “Read / Write / Execute.”

Some comments past on to me ask how is this different from what Web2.0 is about? At a technology level it really isn’t, the technology is already here. From a cultural and hence practice level it is. As we starting seeing more value in using things like Atom, Meta-Data, Open-Data and feed remixing etc, then how we use the Internet and our connected devices will change. That is what, at the core, is the basis of Web2.0 – changing usage and practice.

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  1. Sumitra April 19th, 2007 7:49 pm

    I came across an interesting definiton by Sramana Mitra on Web 3.0. Please read this: Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS).

  2. Web 3.002a February 6th, 2008 5:35 am

    [...] ReadWriteWeb asks: Web 3.0: Is it About Personalization? in reaction to an article in the Guardian: Web 3.0 is all about rank and recommendation.  There are a lot of pithy phrases being thrown about such as that from Robert O’Brien saying:  ”Web 1.0: Centralized Them. Web 2.0: Distributed Us. Web 3.0: Decentralized Me” or my personal favorite: Web 3.0 = (4C + P +VS) from Srmana Mitra (although, as a mathematician, I don’t understand the need for the parenthesis).  I think all of this is just trying to make the case that Web 3.0 = Semantic Web.   First, this whole versioning of the Web is getting ridiculous (although I will claim copyright of version 3.002a).   I do think we are evolving towards far more of a “me-centric” information universe that is imbued within the Data Portability movement.  I feel like something new this way comes.  Something where people will start to take much more control of their information and to use that control to their greater benefit.  It’s going to be more social than technical but I do think some new paradigm is going to emerge to support this.  I think that paradigm is going to be about people learning how to use technology more and more rather than the technology learning more and more about people.  [...]

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