Web 3.0 is about Context not Semantics: Introducing Web C.0

by Joe on September 16, 2008

It seems that everyone, geeks and normal people alike have been talking about what is next for the internet.  With the release of Google’s own web browser Chrome and other new internet technologies, everyone is becoming more familiar with the ever changing landscape that is the web.  The web remains a chasm of untapped potential and therefore we are compelled to wonder what the next generation of the web might look like.  You can remember the dot com, then the bust, and now most people are aware that we are in a phase of web history called Web 2.0.
But what is the next great generation of the web? 
Read Write Web says that the next web generation is about semantics. Wikipedia says that Web 3.0 is about “using semantic web, microformats, natural language search, data-mining, machine learning, recommendation agents, and artificial intelligence technologies.” 
But is the next generation of the web really just about these technologies that have been defined and exist already through a web 2.0 window?  All of these technologies are great and make it easier to do real world activities in parallel with/on a computer, which is great. However, they all exist in singular places.  Semantic search, natural language search, data-mining, recommendation agents, they all exist in silos. The technology allows regular words to interact with a machine and its processing power.  But all of these technologies just layer on top of other tools that I already use to perform the same tasks. Search for a topic for a research paper. People built search results, like Mahalo. These are things that are useful, but just add another layer of noise.
I think we are shortchanging ourselves if we say that the next generation of the web will only include updated versions of what we have today.  I think the new web will different and this change will make a difference for every user of the internet.  I think we are approaching an era of web history that could be called Web C.0.
Web C.0 – The Contextual Web Generation. The ability to put data and technology in the middle of actions we already perform.
The startling thing about our current internet advancements is that as complicated as it may seem, the technology is still just technology and the data involved is still just data.  I point this out because a new generation of the web would involve technology and data in a way that allows data and people to relate to each other.  All data and technology will exist in the context of its purpose or the action being performed.  When the data or the technology has context they become more personal and useful.  Context is the glue that enables the data and technologies to improve a pre-existing task.  Context enables users to perform tasks faster and better than they would have without the contextual data and technology.
A current glimpse into what this might look like is Mozilla Labs’ new product, called Ubiquity.  This enables context to exist across the data and technologies.  This new product takes natural search, the free data on the web, and combines them and puts them in the middle of what you already do. Watch the Ubiquity video for the details.  Ubiquity answers the context question. 
Like always, Jeremiah Owyang provided a great analysis of Google Chrome’s Omnibox, saying that URL’s are to be an anachronism.  But that isn’t the amazing thing about his post.  He says that content is “to be found and served through context,” which is exactly the point of Web C.0: To place existing (or new) technologies and data in the middle of actions we already perform so we can perform tasks faster and more efficiently than before.
Do you agree? Is the next web generation about context or semantics? What’s your take?


Off topic, but this website seems down your alley: http://www.socialmention.com/

“Social Mention is a social media search engine that searches user-generated content such as blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos, and micro-blogging services.

It allows you to easily track what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the webs social media landscape in real-time.

Search results are aggregated from numerous popular social media sources, including Google blog search, Twitter, Delicious, FriendFeed, Flickr, Digg, YouTube etc. and remixed as a single stream of information.'”

by Snaves on September 24, 2008 at 11:33 am. Reply #

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by Joe Budde Jr. » What’s in a name? Your Ability to be a Social Media Sultan, That’s What on September 27, 2008 at 12:44 am. Reply #

[…] Post-Media is a better description than new media because it provides context to how web 2.0 or (web C.0) changes how we consume content and how we interact in our […]

by Joe Budde Jr. » The New New-Media: Post Media or Relationship Media? on November 11, 2008 at 12:26 pm. Reply #

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