I was reading Tim O’Reilly’s post and wanted to record my initial impressions. Tim is a very persuasive writer, not simply because of his pedigree or his prose, but because of the process by which he allows the reader to realize the substance behind what he’s saying.
In short, he doesn’t seek to bludgeon, berate or bribe the reader into believing. He simply illustrates the facts and lets the reader reach for personal conclusions.
Personally, what do I think Web 3.0 is? I’m not as qualified to judge as some since I’m only just now participating. However, I’ve always been a “lurker” or in less negative terms a “watcher”. I follow things, a great many things, all at once, e.g. Linux, Enterprise Architectures, Web 2.0, Programming Paradigms, Design and Art, Gadgets and Gizmos.
Through these things and others, the commonality I enjoy watching is the social change that results.
Web 0.x – 1.0 seemed mostly about content. People were excited they could share information and so they started to put anything out there. In Web 1.x – 2.0 a lot of effort has been around accessibility i.e. sorting the mess to find relevant information. Activities such as; Search, Microformats, Semantic-ness, Mashups, even the recent Security Standards all center around this aspect of making data accessible in ways which are intuitive and relevant to a user (whether human or not).
It shouldn’t be hard to establish an axiom that because humans are social creatures, any change results in social change. Consider the corroborating evidence that the “change” web 2.0 brought us was social networks, Q.E.D.
Can effect lead us to cause? Reconsider the 3.0 question in reverse; What social change will Web 3.0 bring ?
I believe the foundational change Web 3.0 will bring is decentralization, in the ability of disparate components to integrate seamlessly.
We’re starting to see it now with “mashups”, but in Web 3.0 the level of decentralization will produce integration at an unprecedented level ! Note the level of integration Apple seeks to achieve with its family of products, and resultant shift we’ve seen in their business model. Or the rise of openstandards and opensource.
I believe Web 3.0 will not be a technology change, but rather a participatory shift.
Web 3.0 is social change. Change brought about as technologies are integrated into our lives, not just for a select few early adopters, but for a great many.