The Web 3.0 Echo Chamber
There’s not much news coming out of D7, the Internet executive chat fest, other than that Yahoo’s new CEO is willing to accept “boatloads of money” to sell the company’s Web search business, if Microsoft were willing to pay. They are still talking, sort of. But that is so-o-o last’s year’s story. Move on.
Confererence organizers Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg are looking to stir up a debate by declaring that the Web 2.0 era of the internet is over and Web 3.0 is underway.
We think something major is happening at the intersection of tech and media, and we think it deserves its own new hyped-up name: Web 3.0.
Their definition of Web 3.0 centers on the rise of cloud computing and the delivery of a host of Web services to easy to use mobile devices running simple clean software. The iPhone, Blackberry, Google, Twitter. In the absence of news, let’s dredge up an old buzzword.
The death of Web 2.0 doesn’t go down too well with computer publisher Tim O’Reilly, who was the first to comment on the Swisher/Mossberg Web 3.0 declaration:
There’s no question that what’s happening in the marketplace is as significant a step forward as Web 2.0, but calling it Web 3.0 seems a bit silly. After all, Web 2.0 was not a new version of the web, but a name that tried to capture what distinguished the companies that survived the dotcom bust from those that survived, and point the way forward for new companies entering the market.
Of course, O’Reilly was the popularizer of the Web 2.0 term and has created a lucrative business out of defining the term to the rest of the world.
Web 3.0 afficionados will recall John Markoff of The New York Times tried a similar manoeuvre in 2006 when the Web 2.0 craze was in full flower. His declaration of the coming of the Web 3.0 era was timed to coincide with came in the wake of the Web 2.0 Summit, another big annual Internet conference, started by O’Reilly to cash in on the concept.
Markoff defined Web 3.0 as a coming era when computers would scour powerful Web databases to deliver highly personalised results to Internet users. His view of Web 3.0 resurrected the decades-old ideas of natural-language search, the capacity to ask a computer a simple question and get a sensible response.
By that definition, Web 3.0 may take another decade or two.