Define Web 3.0

Explorations / Define Web 3.0

This page is more of a historical account, rather then a deeper exploration into the topic.

In 2007, I saw this page on readwriteweb:

The post was a discussion of something I have been passionate about for a long time (mid-90’s), the web. ReadWriteWeb was running a contest asking users to define what web 3.0 meant to them.

Here is the original contest:

Read/WriteWeb has 3 passes to Web 2.0 Expo to give away, same as Techcrunch. I have to admit Mr Arrington came up with a pretty cunning means to give away their 3 passes – hes asking for readers to attack any post published on TechCrunch. This will not only give him constructive feedback, but will increase page views too (as people rifle through the TC archives)

Well I am not brave enough to ask for people to trash R/WW posts, so I am going to settle for asking you to (ahem) define Web 3.0. C’mon, I know you want to…

The 3 most creative and/or witty definitions for Web 3.0 will win a free pass to Web 2.0 Expo, valued at $1,500 each. Put your definition in the comments below – it can be just one line, or more if you like. I’ll select the winners Tuesday afternoon PST next week (nb: if you can’t make it to the conference, but want to enter anyway, please note that in your comment).

As soon as I saw the contest, something told me I was going to win. I know that probably sounds insane to you, but I had zero doubt at the time. I remember, very clearly, that feeling. It’s a feeling of being absolutely sure about something. So sure that you don’t even question the outcome. It’s already yours, and it’s just a matter of taking the necessary steps and actions to reach the conclusion you already know is coming to you.

Here is a crucial life hack for you: It doesn’t happen all the time, but when you feel inspired to act, take that action. Don’t delay. Do it right away. Why? Because that feeling of “knowing” is inspired action. It’s a divine message driven to you from somewhere beyond your current understanding.

There are plenty of discussions on inspired action (maybe I will do a video about it one day). We can debate (comment, I’m up for it!) where these feelings come from – your own intuition, god, law of attraction (you and others), quantum entanglement, etc – but one thing I know for sure: inspired actions are subtle forces pulling you towards a greater purpose.

I tend to use this kind of inspired action a lot in my life, from getting married, to deciding on careers, projects I’m going to work on, and more.

This was one of those days. The moment I saw the contest, I just knew I was going to win. And that feeling of knowing inspired me to act immediately.

I can’t remember the exact details now (it’s been a while!) but I do remember it took me about 30 seconds of focused thinking to come up with a story and about 1 hour to draft, edit, and submit my contest entry. Here is that submission in full below:

Warning: This comment is BETA. I reserve the right to change my view at any time without telling you.

Everyone seems to think that the (near) future of the web is the ability to use your apps offline. I think thats a very narrow view of where the technology is headed. Companies banking on this concept are doomed. Going “off the grid” is going to be a thing of the past for future generations. Eventually, you will always be connected to the cloud (aka “Internet” for you newcomers). For example, the idea of logging into your favorite instant messenger will be passe. You will always be online be able to contact people with streaming video and audio at any time from any where..your car..your phone..your home. The trend in web video, social networking and staying connected to friends and family is just starting. The thirst for people-to-people communications is still mostly unquenched (sorr for the pun). Sites like facebook can draw such a huge audience even though they fail completely in keeping users connected (eg: you only know whats happening when you login).

Realtime video and audio anytime anywhere with anyone you want is coming. Is it here yet? Sort of..but not in mass consumption, and your local ISP is happier for it. Its really a technical problem and not one thats easily solved. Just imagine if your local ISP was providing fiber to your home for 10% more than what you pay now? Everyone would take advantage of the immense speeds. Video apps and full screen video communication would be everywhere. The problem is ISP’s banked on cable and dsl connections, spent millions…no billions to develop the infrastructure. They have since realized that many more people can afford to have high-speed Internet services, or at least are placing a high value on their ability to go online. The last I heard, 1/10th of the world is online.

Until the technical problem of easily serving full-screen, quality video to every high-speed user is solved, we will continue to see various interesting social networking and video streaming sites (if joost gets out of private beta asap, they may have a fighting chance with p2p idea but there days are numbered imho). Web 3.0 to me is video-driven social networking, video-driven news blogs and user created entertainment, and video-driven email (yep..one day!).

P.S. I love how every man and his dog is trying to create the next dating site masking as a social networking site!

The story doesn’t end there. As soon as I hit send, I knew exactly what my next step was. When I had that feeling of inspired action I mentioned earlier, there was something else I knew I had to: reach out to an Influencer that would propel my contest entry into the winning position.

I started searching around for an influencer that might endorse my submission. At first, I wasn’t sure, but then I saw David Pogue’s name popup, and instantly knew he would reply.

I didn’t reach out to any other Influencers because I didn’t have to. This kind of self-assuredness is often how I operate in life. Spooky action? Maybe. Not entirely sure. I have some theories, but that’s for another post later.

I wrote a blog post asking David for an endorsement. Here is the post (on archive.org also):

Hi David.  I was hoping you could help me out.  ReadWriteWeb.com is giving away 3 tickets to the Web 2.0 expo (reportedly worth $1500 each).  I would love to go. They are asking users to “define web 3.0″ on their web site.  I made my attempt (see comment 35) and hope to win.  I know you love discussing about broadband and the future of the web as I have read your articles before.  I completely agree with your view of ISPs etc and have elaborated as much in my post.

Do you think you could put a comment on the ReadWriteWeb site and support me?  A comment (or even an email) from you would be awesome.  Even better, I would love to see a post or video message from you defining web 3.0 in some funny or interesting way.  Any support from you would be great!

Thanks David!  Keep up the great work and have a nice weekend!

P.S. I have also posted a link to you and to my comment on my blog

As part of my strategy, I also sent two emails to Richard McManus explaining what I was trying to do. Here are those emails:

Email #1:

Hi Richard.  I am one of the commenters to your Web 2.0 Expo tickets giveaway.  I thought you should know I am quite serious and compelled to win and have even asked for David Pogue to help me.

I want to go mostly because I want to meet with people in the industry (I feel so out of touch in Vancouver) and because I just want to say that I heard a keynote from Jeff Bezos and Eric Schmidt at least once in my life (since meeting them isnt really possible) .

Email #2:

You see, ReadWriteWeb is giving away 3 tickets to the web 2.0 expo and I would really love to go.  They have asked readers to post a comment on their site with a definition of web 3.0 (which I did).  I have also decided that having my definition validated would be a good thing for me.  And so I have asked David Pogue (as you can see in my email below) to help me out.  Perhaps he will post a comment supporting me?  Perhaps he will send me a personal reply?  Maybe he will even write to the editors at ReadWriteWeb?Who knows.  We shall soon find out.

What happened next was a complete surprise!  David Pogue actually left a comment on my blog!  At the time, in the position I was in, I didn’t expect it at all.

I’m pretty sure that someone at RWW had contacted David Pogue asking for confirmation that he did, in fact, leave the comment on my blog. After all, anyone can fake a blog comment.

This extra effort of reaching out to an influencer was exactly what I needed to win. When they announced the winners, I wasn’t surprised, but then I instantly became nervous also!

Here is that announcement (also on RWW):

That’s my story! Thanks for reading!

I won’t bore you with the rest of the story. It was pretty uneventful to be honest. Just a bunch of geeks in a room talking shop 🙂