Why Web 3.0?
By bblfish on Oct 07, 2007
As Tim O'Reilly admitted recently, the Web 2.0 meme was created to help businesses get over the dotcom crash. There was no way of getting investors to put money in the web, so it was important to rebrand. Mike Bergman - and many others - may not like it, and quite reasonably so, but this was probably a business necessity. The web of course never died and clearly never will. But since "Web" got associated with bust, Crash, 911 and what not, it was important to emphasize that everything did not end, there was a new beginning. There was a life after Pet Shop stores. This is the point of Web 2.0, and Tim O'Reilly did a great job with his article "What is Web 2.0?" in emphasizing this evolution.
The rebranding was extremely successful. But with success often comes conceit, and it became obvious that major evolutions were being left out of the Web 2.0 sphere. And, as this recent article by Tim indicates, "Today's Web 3.0 Nonsense Blogstorm", the key proponents of 2.0 do not feel like allowing those technologies in, either because they don't understand them, or because they have enough on their plate, or because they find it difficult to speak about it to their investors, or a combination of all of those. It is difficult to explain since as I showed in a recent article that Semantic Web technologies very nicely complement O'Reilly's Web 2.0 patterns. Whatever the reasons for this rejection, it is clear that there is an after Web 2.0 building up, and so the best way to name it is Web 3.0. For some reason this after seems to be unpleasant to the 2.0 folks. Of course since it probably limits the capital they have access too. Competition does that. But it is a limit that they are imposing on themselves. Was it because it was easier for them to build momentum for their ideas? Starting small is a good strategy. But no one can own the whole future. It evolves, and idea that Nova Spivack defends very clearly, and for which he is rewarded by having some clever investors.
In fact we should be glad there is the Web 2.0 crowd and that Tim manages to argue so well at keeping them there, and frightening them from coming over here. Without this boundary it would be much more difficult to explain what is new, and we would end up being overwhelmed by a me too crowd intent on latching onto the latest. (There are a few of those already here, btw.) So yes. Web 3.0 is the future, but it is a risky one. On the other hand as the Web 2.0 space fills up, life will be getting more and more difficult in the red ocean of intense competition, witness the never ending new social networking startups. Inevitably the risks of going three are going to be outweighed by the difficulty of staying in me 2 land.
But if all of this still makes the hair rise up on your head, I suggest using the web n+1 shorthand. That puts you at the bleeding edge always, in a politically correct way. And for the whole thing explained with a lot more humour, see Web 3.0 I$ About Money.