Today's Web 2.0 companies may soon find themselves transformed or even eclipsed by yet another wave of web innovators. New companies are cropping up to expand the utility of the web, creating location-based services and financial payment systems that can be bolted onto existing sites. Often bootstrapped, they are frequently profitable and may get acquired quickly. Even in today's tough environment, these upstarts are the ones raising money and trying to score a life or business-altering hit. Welcome to Web 3.0, otherwise known as the Semantic Web.
The goal of Web 3.0 is to reorganize information so users can capture what things are and how they are related. This seemingly simple concept will have a profound effect at every level of information consumption, from the individual end user to the enterprise. Today information is stored inside specialized inflexible databases that are, in effect, information silos. What's needed now is an end to the silo and the emergence of a single unified view of our information universe where related objects are freely connected in meaningful ways.
Web 3.0 technologies make the organization of information radically more fluid and allow for new types of analysis based on things like text semantics, machine learning, and what we call serendipity – the stumbling upon insights based on just having better organized and connected information. Web 3.0 portends a future where all information can be aggregated in a way that provides maximal insight and value.
In the new business environment, figuring out how to most effectively communicate with your customers and potential customers is critical. At the end of the day, one of the keys to that communication is leveraging information most effectively. Being able to give customers information that they value, and being able to respond to them in a way that matches their interests are cornerstones of Web 3.0.
Nova Spivack has taken a shot at visually constructing the path towards Web 3.0 and beyond.