Web 3.0 very poorly defined

From Read/Write Web

“Google CEO Eric Schmidt was recently at the Seoul Digital Forum and he was asked to define Web 3.0 by an audience member. After first joking that Web 2.0 is “a marketing term”, Schmidt launched into a great definition of Web 3.0. He said that while Web 2.0 was based on Ajax, Web 3.0 will be “applications that are pieced together” – with the characteristics that the apps are relatively small, the data is in the cloud, the apps can run on any device (PC or mobile), the apps are very fast and very customizable, and are distributed virally (social networks, email, etc).”

To be fair, Eric Schmidt is the CEO of Google, so he’s pretty smart and in a pretty good position to see the future of the internet. Furthermore, Eric Schmidt probably doesn’t care what Web 2.0 or Web 3.0 or Web 63.5 are since the company he stewards will likely be a big part of whatever developments occur regardless of title.

That said, I think his definition misses the mark. Not because I know what Web 3.0 is going to be (I don’t, and frankly, I don’t care) but because what he has described essentially already exists. It’s called “the internet” and can be accessed via what people call a “browser.” Think about it. Schmidt is describing what already exists – you open a browser, you go to a destination URL and you do whatever it is you set out to do. Apps already talk to each other; for example, RSS feeds and email alerts combine information and transport it from one website to another. You can customize the color of your MSN home page, you can choose what useful little doohickeys show up in your browser. Maybe I’m not writing this well, but what Schmidt is describing sounds like a faster version of the internet we already have.

That would be Web 1.1, not web 3.0.

However, his definition begins to make sense when you look at it from his view. In a perfect-Eric-Schmidt universe, everyone would go to an iGoogle page to access all the apps of the internet. They would run as widgets on your iGoogle page and have compatibility with other Google products. You wouldn’t leave one page for another because the access to applications would all be in one place. The days of going to another URL would be gone, as everything you need would be in one place. When you look at it that way, Schmidt’s definition of Web 3.0, in my opinion, is “moving the internet from the browser to the internet itself.” And if that’s the idea, then the portal wars are just beginning.


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