by Brian Solis

Courtesy of STIRR’s Sean Ness

The discussions of Web 3.0 continue, even though there are only a handful of people out there truly qualified to discuss it – yet, these days, everyone seems to be an expert on the future of the Web.

John Markoff, the original source of the debate/discussion, continues to fuel the fire with a series of posts openly pondering the subject.

In his latest article, What I Meant to Say is Semantic Web, Markoff shared, “One great way to start a fight in a crowded Silicon Valley cocktail party (and there are a lot of them these days) is to mention Web 3.0.”

I agree, but I’d go one step further. Think of the blogosphere as one big party, because it doesn’t take a social setting and a glass of wine to spark the conversation. The debate will continue to rage on as some define it as a next step in social networking (bleh), a Web filtered by intelligent people (bleh), and also a more intelligent web aka the Semantic Web.

As Stowe Boyd so eloquently described the discussion of labeling the new Web, whatever it is, “…we will call it something else.”

O’Reilly agreed, “I’m with Stowe. There’s definitely something new brewing, but I bet we will call it something other than Web 3.0.

Markoff acquiesces a bit, easing off the gas on the 3.0 semi truck, by also exploring the subject of Semantics. He also names a few of the authorities that are blazing the trail towards a new web including Danny Hillis, the founder of Metaweb, Barney Pell of PowerSet, and Nova Spivack, the co founder of Radar Networks (who at the Web 2.0 Summit, introduced Twine, the first intelligent social network).

I’d like to also add Alex Iskold of AdaptiveBlue, who is already shipping a “semantic” Web solution without marketing it as the bridge to Web 3.0 or the Semantic Web. Over the last year, he has written some of the most compelling whitepapers and articles on the subject of what the Semantic Web is, what it will be, and how it works. I would also add Tim, Mr. Web 2.0, O’Reilly to the list as he is obviously a visionary architect who openly designs next generation technologies and markets through words rather than actually building applications.

Think intelligence.

Through my research, the common thread defining and inspiring the next Web, whatever we call it, will be the focus on the back-end of the Web and more effectively wiring things together. Whereas Web 2.0 was about interface, social media, and interactivity, the Semantic Web will be about data, exchange, and behind-the-scenes intelligence to streamline and enhance how we interact with the Web and data.

According to the WC3, whose members include Tim Berners-Lee, Dan Connolly, Sandro Hawke, Ivan Herman, Eric Prud’hommeaux, and Ralph Swick, defines the Semantic Web this way, “The Semantic Web is a web of data and is about two things. It is about common formats for interchange of data, where on the original Web we only had interchange of documents. Also it is about language for recording how the data relates to real-world objects. That allows a person, or a machine, to start off in one database, and then move through an unending set of databases which are connected not by wires but by being about the same thing.”

Related articles by Brian Solis:

Web 3.0 is About Intelligence

Are You Ready for Web 3.0?

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About the Author:

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His current book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web.

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    no imageSean Ness (Who am I?)20 October 2007 11:18 am

    Haha…this keeps popping up! If you like the shirt, get it here –

    My two cents: the word ‘semantic’ is too complicated to take off and be used by the masses. The simple term ‘web 3.0′ will win out (even though it shouldn’t).

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    no imageSherwin Shao (Who am I?)20 October 2007 3:53 pm

    The next generation of the web will make use of what we like, what we know, and what we’ve done, to give us what we need. Based on our recent search history. Based on our demographics. Based on our ratings, questions and answers.

    Given your usage, the system should know what you’re interested in, and can show you questions based on the community you naturally belong to. So you will not have to avoid people you find annoying… the system will segregate you naturally. Also, other people similar to you will, through their ratings, constantly be finding things that are interesting to you. This system is adaptive, so that as your interests change, your search results change with you.

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