The first post I wrote when Seamless Enterprise began was entitled “I’m Done with Web 2.0.” That wasn’t literal; what I was saying is that I felt like I had finally found the missing pieces to understand the impact of social media as a whole, despite the fact that I had scratched my head trying to understand the value of many of the individual pieces. But now I really am done with Web 2.0, meaning my focus now is on the elusive future-state that I assume someone else has already coined “Web 3.0.”
Innovators are said to stand “on the shoulders of giants.” In the context of Web 3.0, what that means is that only after Web 2.0 reached a certain degree of penetration could the world start to define and build what comes next. For example, Web 3.0 mechanisms are starting to show up in Facebook’s news feed feature—and I am fascinated by the invisible social algorithms at work behind the scenes to create these feeds.
For example, Facebook will present different news feeds to the same individual depending on whether they are on their mobile phone or their PC. This is an example of “presence.” I have written a lot about how presence is central to the future of communications. In fact, my article “This Is Not Your Father’s Telecommuting” is still cited on Wikipedia for its description of the “presence effect,” which I described as being akin to the old “water cooler” effect.
Presence will be the defining characteristic of Web 3.0, allowing an infinite number of presence states to define a communications experience. All Web 3.0 information will be filtered, shaped, and presented based upon individual presence variables that are not pre-defined, but are extensible ad infinitum. A hot new mobile app could instantly, with its release, define and implement a new presence variable, one that no one could have planned for or anticipated.
The reason presence will be the cornerstone of Web 3.0 is spam. Anyone who has engaged in Web 2.0 social media has experienced spam in their newsfeeds—and it is only getting worse. As information becomes easier to create (and once we all have more than 500 friends on Facebook), only a presence-aware algorithm can help us weed through the information to present the most relevant and timely news feed. In that way, Web 3.0 newsfeeds will start to replace our email inboxes—because Web 1.0 email has no social awareness whatsoever, which I predict will make it obsolete before the end of the decade.