A few months ago Google UX Researcher Paul Adams unleashed a rather insightful presentation on the world that detailed his team’s rather extensive findings from their research on social networks. In the presentation Paul makes two declarative statements, that while I do agree with them, I have to disagree with the primary conclusion that individuals seem to be drawing from them. Rather that reproduce what I feel to be incorrect arguments, I will simply say:
Web 3.0 is not “The Social Web.”
Web 1.0 was really “The Published Web.” Everything was brochureware, and I’d say that there was a naive innocence to almost everything because there was no real expectations placed upon websites outside of simply existing.
That didn’t last long. People quickly realized that the Web needed to actually do stuff. Thus Web 2.0, “The Transactional Web,” was born. We quickly developed functionality for finding things, buying things, sharing them with friends, and even making brochureware. Web 2.0 completely commoditized Web 1.0.
Returning to Mr. Adams, he’s completely right. The Web is undergoing a fundamental change. Web 2.0 is about to get commoditized by Web 3.0. The operative question being “What is Web 3.0?”
As I said, Web 3.0 is not “The Social Web.” Think about this one until you agree with me: Nearly all existing social functionality is actually transactional functionality. You friend or follow someone. You share and tag a photo. You update a status. These are all social transactions.
Web 3.0 also is not “The Mobile Web,” as some would proclaim. As stated in the presentation by the gentleman from Google, social networks are extremely contextual in nature. Similarly, mobile is a computing state the is also extremely contextual in nature.
Web 3.0 is “The Contextual Web.” It is a robust procedural grid that understands us, and responds appropriately given the user’s current context. I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Think about it until you agree.