Is Web 3.0 About Taming the Deluge of Data?

http://i2.wp.com/tamingdata.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/iStock_000008979451XSmall.jpg?resize=150%2C150The Social Path has an interesting post about how Web 3.0 is about “taming the deluge of data”. The author(s) wrote the post based on a presentation the author(s) had seen recently by Andrew Keen.

The author(s) write that three trends are defining “3.0”:

  • Aggregators: one point of entry to multiple social network sites;
  • Simple Sharing: easy ways to share something with friends and family on said multiple social network sites; and,
  • “Un-Sites”: a search engine re-direct will take you to an aggregation of online information related to that shop.

I agree with the first two points re: aggregating and sharing. I do think those will help users access and share their data. As for “un-sites”, well, I can see it working for the “hip” crowd, I’m not so sure I’d take a corporation or other organization seriously that uses a “splat” method as an online presence. It is one way to organize your online presence, albeit an ugly-but-cute one.

Earlier in the post, the authors quote Andrew Keen.

The best explanation I’ve heard was from Andrew Keen, author of “The Cult of the Amateur.” In a recent Social Media Club presentation here in Birmingham, Andrew broke out the Web’s history like this:

Web 1.0: Mainstream media and retailers dominate, using traditional approaches to broadcasting and sales.

Web 2.0: Blogging, peer-to-peer sharing and Google empower the masses to communicate openly. The old guard struggles to remain relevant.

Web 3.0: Mainstreaming of social media creates a constant flow of information. Challenge for users and businesses alike is to harness the flood without drowning.

I don’t agree with Keene’s assessment of Web 1.0. I’m going to nitpick. First, Phase 1 of the Web was about Research & Development and allowing Public Access to the Internet and Web. It was about Berners-Lee creating hyperlinks and the development of SGML ==> HTML + XML. The Internet was originally a DARPA/ARPA project. Web 1.0 is about the government handing over the Internet to the private sector and opening it up to the business sector for use. Now, if Keene would like to use the term, “public web”, then I would agree with his points regarding Phases 1-3.

In my opinion, there are 4 phases. Phase 1 is the R&D phase, development of the Web as part of the Internet infrastructure, and the transition from research organization access only to public access to the Web and Internet via private companies. This also means that “Web 2.0” is really “Web 3.0”, and that the next transition is to “Web 4.0”. I expect I am a minority in this opinion, and that my “Web 1.0” is simply “pre-Web 1.0” to most users.

Second, many of the major retailers were slow to make the jump to the Web, and didn’t begin to dominate it until the latter stages of Web 1.0/early 2.0, when they finally figured out what to do with a web site. Remember how quickly Microsoft had to scramble because the company’s executives didn’t see the coming of the public Internet and anticipate their customer’s interest in using it?

If we are, indeed, moving to the next phase of the Web, I would like to see some discussion related to the ephemeralness of it all. What do you keep? What do you throw away? Storage is cheap, and, indeed, getting cheaper, but why pay to keep petabytes of data/information stored, migrated, emulated, etc., when you neither need nor want it? What happens to your online life when you die and who controls it? How do you sift through all the chaff to find the wheat?

Aggregating your online presence via a search engine redirect is a nice trick. Can we also deal with some of the more serious questions on this round of the Web, rather than just more technical evolution? {Note: I love technology, but there are limits.}

I know, I know. We won’t, because it isn’t sexy.

Please let me know what you think....