Web 3.0

The New York Times writes:

From the billions of documents that form the World Wide Web and the links that weave them together, computer scientists and a growing collection of start-up companies are finding new ways to mine human intelligence.

Their goal is to add a layer of meaning on top of the existing Web that would make it less of a catalog and more of a guide and even provide the foundation for systems that can reason in a human fashion. That level of artificial intelligence, with machines doing the thinking instead of simply following commands, has eluded researchers for more than half a century.

Referred to as Web 3.0, the effort is in its infancy, and the very idea has given rise to skeptics who have called it an unobtainable vision.

Art of Projections in a Dotcom 2.0 World

Guy Kawasaki writes: “The world is running amok with entrepreneurs pitching every sort of Web 2.0, social networking, user-generated-content startup. Its the attack of the bull-shiitake startup projections, so Im losing my hearing; theres a ringing in my head, and I get dizzy every once in a while. Before the world implodes (again), here is a top-tenish list of ways to create realistic projections in this Dotcom 2.0 world.”

Social Network Sites Definition

Danah Boyd writes:

A “social network site” is a category of websites with profiles, semi-persistent public commentary on the profile, and a traversable publicly articulated social network displayed in relation to the profile.

To clarify:

1. Profile. A profile includes an identifiable handle (either the person’s name or nick), information about that person (e.g. age, sex, location, interests, etc.). Most profiles also include a photograph and information about last login. Profiles have unique URLs that can be visited directly.
2. Traversable, publicly articulated social network. Participants have the ability to list other profiles as “friends” or “contacts” or some equivalent. This generates a social network graph which may be directed (“attention network” type of social network where friendship does not have to be confirmed) or undirected (where the other person must accept friendship). This articulated social network is displayed on an individual’s profile for all other users to view. Each node contains a link to the profile of the other person so that individuals can traverse the network through friends of friends of friends….
3. Semi-persistent public comments. Participants can leave comments (or testimonials, guestbook messages, etc.) on others’ profiles for everyone to see. These comments are semi-persistent in that they are not ephemeral but they may disappear over some period of time or upon removal. These comments are typically reverse-chronological in display. Because of these comments, profiles are a combination of an individuals’ self-expression and what others say about that individual.

One Web

Jo Rabin discusses the desktop and mobile Webs:

I strongly agree with the idea that applications should, where appropriate, be tailored to the user’s context and that there is a self-selecting set of applications that appeal while mobile. But how much of that perception is habit, and dare I say it, age? How will younger people see it?

Back in the early days of email, I remember that people said that no-one would want to read a document on-screen. The “paperless office” was a joke, because it introduced volumes of information that often ‘needed’ to be printed off to be consumed.

All that has changed. People’s expectations about where, how and why they wish to consume information changes constantly. Before asserting that there is a complete difference between the mobile experience and the desktop experience, consider how things change – and how absurd it seems today to print off emails before reading them.

TECH TALK: Two 2.0 Events: Web 2.0 Highlights

Read/Write Web had extensive coverage of the various sessions at the Web 2.0 Summit. I have summarised some of the highlights.

Mary Meeker presented a data-filled presentation with some key insights:

– It’s tough to succeed on the Web – around 2% of tech companies create close to 100% of the wealth.
– International markets are becoming crucial, as US share of world internet users falls from 37% to around 20% in 2007. China obviously, but also India and Russia are noted by Mary.
– Mobile – entering the “adoption sweet spot” in 2007.
– Growth is still going up – especially outside the US.
– Just as Apple monetized online music, the market for online video is poised for similar growth
– Momentum for online video continues to build
– Effective editing of video will become more important – e.g. Yahoo’s The 9.
– Audio search will become more popular
– Only 13% of top 15 online retailers are pure internet plays (Amazon is #1)
– Watch where the younger generation goes

There was a discussion between Ask CEO Jim Lanzone and former and ex-CEO and now senior vice president of the Online Services Group at Microsoft Steve Berkowitz (moderated by John Battelle):

John asks: where is Google vulnerable? Jim says that there hasn’t been much competition for Google, until now. He says Google’s challenge is to grow “beyond search”, which brings the risk that they won’t innovate so much in search as they used to. Steve says that backwards compatibility will be Google’s greatest challenge. He also mentions that Google expanding their footprint is a risk – as it’s a big task and discipline to make sure the focus stays right. Also he says being a public company is a challenge.

Jim points out that the whole search industry will continue to grow – he says Ask is the 7th biggest web property in the US, ahead of Amazon for example.
Steve says that in search “the product is the marketing” – and he thinks Google is in a great position in that respect.

A question from the audience for Steve about live.com, what is his vision for it. Steve says his vision is for “search plus”, that live.com will be the way to get to Microsoft’s services. He says that search will be center to their product range.

John Battelle spoke with Microsofts Ray Ozzie:

John asks if the current web services and online advertising business model is as big a deal as the mid-90’s Gates memo on the Internet. Ray said it’s as big a deal business-wise. He says they ask themselves what is the best way to deliver value – which John notes is called ‘scenario-based design’. He says his message in the memo was: for the experience being delivered via the Internet, which piece will be on PC and which via the browser? So it’s an evolution of thinking from the PC era, then the server era.

John asks what Ray thinks of Google. Ray praises Google and says they stay focused on the user. John says Google is proving the advertising model for web services, so he asks Ray what’s the zeitgeist on the Microsoft campus. John mentions the office suite. Ray says there are half a billion odd users in the office market, so he says they already have the audience – so his question is how they deliver value to this audience in this era. John asks when Word will be completely web native? Ray says it depends on the scenario of the usage – he doesn’t see that it’s the right thing to do to take the PC interface and functionality, and port it up to the Web. Ray says the Web is good at universal access, sharing scenarios, etc – and the PC is good at flexible and fast UI, is reliable. He says we’re going to a world where we’re dropping media items into our documents, but the PC was designed for media editing.

Question from the audience: what will be the theme for software in next generation? (3-5 years). Ray said that on the office side, he thinks the biggest opportunity is mobile devices, smart phones – so a lot of opportunity with those different types of productivity scenarios.

John Battelle spoke with Yahoo co-founder David Filo:

John asks David if they think a lot about Google. David says yes, as Google started out in one area and now they cover a lot of things. He says 12 years ago it was about competing with AOL, Time Warner, etc. So there has never been a shortage of competitors, but they change over time. He says “the next thing” is just as much a threat – MySpace, YouTube etc. He says that in 5 years time things will be very different again, so may be another startup that gets big.

Tomorrow: Web 2.0 Highlights (continued)

Continue reading TECH TALK: Two 2.0 Events: Web 2.0 Highlights