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Blog Past: The Now-New-Near Web

November 2nd, 2008 · 2 Comments

I refer a lot in my talks to the N3 Web, especially in the context of the mobile. This longish series from two years ago goes into depth about the N3 Web, “a web that will be available primarily via mobiles. It is a Web that doesn’t exist. It is a Web that has to be built.”

In countries like India, the Reference Web almost does not exist. Most businesses do not have websites; the ones that do have updates that are few and far between. This has been partly due to the slow growth of PCs and the lack of an inexpensive and reliable broadband infrastructure. Most of us in India rely on the ‘global’ Reference Web that we can search through the likes of Google and Yahoo.

India needs to leapfrog to the Now-New-Near Web. This is a web that will be built around mobiles and with a significant contribution coming from user-generated content. It will significantly improve life by bridging the information gaps that exist. It is a Web in which India can be the leader. The digital infrastructure and the devices to create and consume content are in place. What is missing is the set of services.

Another barrier to the creation of the Reference Web for the mass-market has been language. India has a multitude of languages. The computers that exist do not make it easy to create local language content. By adopting multimedia content creation techniques, India can break this barrier. Mobiles are the ideal devices for the creation of such content.

The Now-New-Near Web will be at the heart of the New India. It will be a virtual mirror of the physical world around us, accessible via the device we already carry and over networks that already exist. It will be the next big upgrade to the Web — and one which India can lead.

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