Web 3.0 has begun and its not what you think. I don’t think many people realized what Web 2.0 was until we were at the height of it, and already seeing the capabilities that had been set out years before it. But imagine if we had all realized in 2001 what was possible and all of the major social and technical shifts that would rise the an explosion of innovation and opportunity by 2006.
First let’s start by defining Web 2.0. Depending on who you ask, you would get different answers. A marketer would tell you it is about the User Generated Content (UGC). A technologist would tell you it is all about AJAX and the API mashups that AJAX enabled. A designer would tell you it was the new simplified aesthetic that focused on conversions and pragmatism. They’re all correct, but let me distill this into a concise list:
- Use Case: Socialized content.
- User Experience: Fewer page refreshes. Simplified design.
To say web 3.0 has begun, we’d need parallel impact on all these fronts, so let’s start there:
From the use case perspective, consider the semantic and meta tagging that are now a part of the HTML5 spec. Semantic web promises to transform the web into an ultimately connected experience in which a machine has as much awareness of the content as a human. Imagine your calendar warning you there is a conflict prior to booking a ticket on Expedia. This is equally if not more significant to the social revolution of web 2.0.
Finally, user experience. This one can be summed up in two words – interactive media. Finally with HTML5 and the proliferation of cheap bandwidth, it seems the pieces are in place for the much-anticipated online media revolution. There are technologies already available and built upon HTML5 that enable bi-directional triggering and interaction between the HTML Document and the embedded media. Imagine you are a media content producer and you can embed triggers into your video that will instigate social interaction and information widgets at correct times in the media. Simply amazing when you think about what might be possible here.
Putting it all together, the potential is there for a much larger wave of technological and cultural innovation now, than at the beginning of Web 2.0. Not only is this significant enough to be compared to Web 2.0; its bigger! And if you consider Roger’s Innovation Adoption Curve, NOW is the time for entrepreneurs and technologists to begin creating opportunities around these possibilities. Don’t wait until we’re already 1/2 way through the innovation cycle and the retrospective innovation has become obvious. By then, it is too late.