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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How Will Web 3.0 Change Your Life???

The characteristics of Web 3.0 are starting to emerge. New research, web behavior, new technology, convergence and experimentation with new concepts is giving us a clue as to how we will interact, search for information, buy things and entertain ourselves in ways that are different and more powerful then how we interact on the web today.

These new features and techniques will initially coexist with Web 1.0 and 2.0 web habitats but eventually these habitats will disappear and be replaced by newer and more powerful environments and techniques.

YOUR IDENTITY WILL BE DEFINED BY WHAT YOU DO ON THE WEB - The activities you partake in, the frequency that you interact with certain locations on the web and the way you behave on the web will define your web identity. The shear amount of time we will spend on the web will ultimately influence your physical identity. Your digital identity will supersede the importance of what you do offline because your digital identity will have a larger audience and greater exposure then what you do at school, in the office, on the playing field or at the shopping mall.

The underlying web research and technologies that will have the greatest influence on this phenomena are semantic networks, hybrid semantic neural networks and the manifestations of this core research in the form of the semantic web. Although this research appears intense and difficult to understand for the everyday web user its core thesis is that your web activity of connecting to different web sites, spending more time in certain places then others and the frequency you visit certain locations says a lot about you. It tells a system about what you like and do not like, what your special interests are, how your behavior changes over time and the most likely associations you should be making.

Companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, MySpace, etc are in a good position to exploit these techniques for the purpose of understand our interests, preferences, likes, dislikes and the trajectory of our changing behavioral patterns in relation to these items. This will change our lives in some fundamental ways.

The Digital Profile - We have all filled these things out over and over with the same information. What movies do you like, what sports do you participate in, what groups do you belong too!!!! On and on its goes and we do this for every social oriented site that we visit. This will end in the Web 3.0 world. Your activity on the web will result in an automatically generated profile. Sure you will be able to manually over ride it and change it. However, the web activity you engage in will define you and your profile. You may not like it and you may not want everyone to know what you really like but the knowledge base will be there and that will define your web profile and web identity. The good part of this is that you do not have to fill in those profiles every time you land on on a social oriented property.

How Communities Will Be Formed - On the current web we have to actively associate ourselves with known communities or create them and invite others to the community. We see this on Facebook, Linkedin, etc. In the future your web activity will result in recommendations to connect to and join communities that have been auto generated based on the interest patterns demonstrated by your web behavior. If you are out searching to purchase a Bernese Mountain Dog and you have been on the web doing this enough to create a pattern an invitation will be sent to you to join the international Bernese Mountain Dog community. If such a community does not exist and enough people are searching for Bernese Mountain Dogs then a community will be dynamically created and all recently curious seekers will be invited to join the group.

No more searching around for a club or community or the necessity to create one of your own. If there is sufficient interest in something a community will just happen and you will become a part of it. Communities will be associated or merged with others based on web user activity. Communities will become self perpetuating or self destructive. If the community is not active and growing it will be disassembled. If it is growing it will receive more and more referrals based on its activity.

How Connections Will Be Made - If you are out looking for a job, a date or a place to stay in Cabo dynamic connections and interrelationships will be made based on your digital profile. For instance, if you have been out searching for 6 foot tall blonds ages 20 to 25 this will become part of your profile and everyone fitting this description will automatically be a potential connection for you or they may reach out to you to connect. Companies looking for talent will search for people based on online behavior. Has someone been downloading the latest book on Agile Development and PHP programming. Have they visited the Harvard alumni site recently?

Your Genetic Footprint - It is relatively easy to give an organization a sample of your DNA and obtain your genetic footprint. This will become a part of your digital identity. This will be used to create new and interesting communities around genetic profiles. It could be that a group is formed around a gene that signals a predisposition to a certain illness or it could be that people with a certain gene are associated with a certain ethnic group.

Digital Location - Your ever changing location will become a part of your identity. Currently mobile phone devices are being equipped with GPS. This will expand to automobiles, laptops, desktops, clothing, shoes, etc. The age old IP location will also be used. the combined GPS and IP location techniques will provide an extremely accurate notion of where you are, where you have come from and where you are going.

Commercial Targeting - Your ID will be used to target you for advertising, commercial interests, sponsorships, upgrades, promotions, etc. You will be micro targeted for niche oriented products and services. When you are in the vicinity of a shop, restaurant or gas station you will be enticed to use their product or service. You will be text messaged, called, e-mailed and generally harassed as you pass outfits that have an interest in you.

Your Digital ID will be analyzed and scrutinized for the purpose of categorization and to determine the success or lack thereof a product or service. It will be used to modify products and services and to refine promotions and other forms of advertising. It will be dissected to determine all of the products and services you might be interested in the present and in the future.

Security - Your digital ID will be very specific, ever changing and hard to duplicate. It will be used to verify your identity. When you are at the airport your digital identity will be used to determine if you are who you are and if you did book that trip to Cabo.

When you attempt to make an online transactions it will be evaluated to determine what your balance is, what you spending history has been and what risk factors are associated with your transaction history.

When you go through passport control your activity, picture, avatar and locations will automatically be evaluated to determine if you are who you say you are and if any recent activity should put into question if you should be allowed into the country.

Online activity will be allowed or restricted based on your identity. Access to your systems will be limited to digital ID's you determine are worthy. Site access will be based on digital identity.

Identity theft will reach new levels of sophistication. An entire industry will emerge in the attempt to cash in on securing your digital ID.

WEBSITES AS VIDEO GAME EXPERIENCES - To a degree this is already occurring. We are moving away from the white space flat model experience to a richer glossier look and feel. I have seen a number of sites that are not game related that look more like the introduction to a PlayStation or Xbox game then they do to a financial reporting property.

Console video games will migrate to the web obsoleting the console. This is already occurring with the improvement in graphically oriented web development tools.

Web experiences will become more 3 dimensional mimicking classic games such as the SIMS, SecondLife, EverQuest, World of Warcraft, etc. Web users will demand that sites must be fun, interesting, somewhat challenging and educational. Even the most mundane subject such as insurance will be required to have sites composed of rooms that a visitor moves through with graphic representations of themselves and awards based on successful completion of tasks. People will open doors as opposed to links and have graphically representations for items of interest as opposed to textual representations. Audio will become a big part of web sites.

Digital IDs will be associated with graphically representations of an individual. These images will be automatically generated from the digital ID. A web user will be able to customize the automatically generated avatar to fit a specific objective in the site. You will move through a site in a suit tie or dress if the sites want to convey a formal appearance or you might move through the site with jeans and a t-shirt.

VIRTUAL CURRENCY- This phenomena is well on its way to being adopted. This is not the old concept of an e-currency managed by a government for the purpose of e-commerce transactions. This is an organically developing financial transaction environment currently being created by hundreds of online game sites and the inability for millions of people to transact online with traditional credit cards.

With few exceptions online games sites issue points for play or participation in game play. Awards are frequently granted for attaining certain point thresholds. These awards frequently result in the granting of physical items such as iPods, Costco gift cards, Starbucks vouchers and movie tickets. This process is resulting in establishing real value for virtual currencies.

Real currencies are being exchanged to buy virtual items in the gaming worked. These items are being traded and bought with virtual currencies and real currencies creating another relationship of real currencies to virtual currencies.

Games sites will begin to collaborate and with each other and allow people from other sites to use their points to participate in their games establishing an exchange between virtual currencies. Traditional e-commerce sites will join the party and offer their own Amazon or E-Bay virtual currencies.

The migration of all web sites to the online video game model will cause this phenomena to proliferate throughout the web.

This will create a new industry of virtual currency traders and speculators. You will regularly get information on CNBC and the Bloomberg report on the relative value of important virtual currencies and the value relative to traditional currencies.

Eventually brick and mortar merchants will accept certain virtual currency as payment for goods and services.

MOBILITY - Most of the planet's population does not have desktop or laptop computers and will never have them. Outside of North America mobile access to the web is the way most people interact with the web. This is the result of poor land based infrastructure, fragmented social organizations and governments, the expense of creating land based infrastructure, the lack of physical space to permanently place a desktop, the relatively inexpensive placement of mobile signal transmission and the migratory nature of populations.

The web will adopt to this reality with the establishment of more robust back ends to mobile services offering a much wider array of applications and services in a format that makes sense for these devices. The advent of virtual currency transactions will become an important part of this environment allowing mobile users to transact online with special virtual currency exchange mechanisms.

Mobile device manufacturers will close the gap between laptop and mobile device formats resulting in the emergence of a hybrid device that is a cross between the netbook laptop and the smart phone. Most desktop and laptop devices will cease to have an Ethernet or phone connection capability. All devices will be mobile high bandwidth and wireless ready.

Do not underestimate the power of really cheap, easy to obtain and disposable mobile devices. The third world will be the biggest growth area for Internet usage. There will be an entire array if cheap TCPIP based devices that will use crude forms of communication such as text messaging to simulate more sophisticated web activity.

THE NEW SEARCH PARADIGM - Google did a great job of leveraging AI 1.0 technology such as fuzzy logic and case based reasoning to optimize search and conquer the world. They will use the new AI 2.0 semantic web techniques to continue their dominance.

In the future when you place an item in a search engines text string box and select go you will retrieve a very different array of information compared to what you see today. The engine will use the semantic web to determine what other important other sites not containing the search text are relevant to your quest for information. If you are searching for Bernese Mountain Dog breeders you will also get sites that feature dog vaccinations, dog air transportation services, dog hotel sites etc. Essentially, we will move beyond pure higherarchial case/web site search matches to associative search based on all of the knowledge Google has acquired from the activity it has experienced though the use of its service.

Based on your Digital ID search engines will predetermine what you might want to search for and offer you a list of selections before you key a single letter into the search box.

It is really about the data. The web 3.0 community is advocating that what people really want when they are searching for information is the data itself and not a web page and a bunch of links to different locations in a site. The web currently has direct and indirect access to large sophisticated data stores of information. That is really where the good information lies.

If you are searching for the breast cancer instances in the last year in the United States what you want is a breakdown by state, age and gender. You want to be able to massage that data in a format that makes sense to you and pull the most important information out of the data based on a preliminary evaluation of the data. You want to know how likely you might become part of this grouip.

The biggest obstacle I see to this is ownership, security and the proprietary nature of the data accumulated. This information is really "valuable" and in some cases very sensitive. Data centric searching will require an interesting security and currency transaction model to really take off. This could be a good use of the new Digital ID in combination with virtual currency.

In Conclusion: Well when is this all going to happen?? When do I have to change my web behaviour and when can I finally get rid of this funny green paper and use bits and bytes to buy things.

The answer is obvious. It will be evolutionary and not revolutionary. These things will appear in stages and iteratively almost unnoticed by most except the the VC's and investors that had the foresight to invest in these core concepts and technologies.They of course will become very wealthy. Everyone else will be kicking themselves for not getting on the bandwagon.

Even today if you ask most people what the differences are between web 1.0 and 2.0 they will not be able to give you a definitive answer. It is just going to happen. Embrace it don't fight it.


Brian Javeline said...

Thanks for the insight on the mobile world. I am a DELL TOP 10 INNOVATOR for mobile computing that targets a few million contractors in the home repair and remodeling industries. There are 128 million existing homes in the U.S., a huge base of ready business for home-improvement professionals. The average age of the U.S. home is 32 years - prime remodeling age, and a time of needed repair or replacement. With the slowdown in the housing market, people are more likely to keep their existing home and maintain it rather than buy a new home. Perhaps an investor reader is interested in giving us a call? Please just mention this Blog.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of mobile Games available from your phone provider at some pretty cheap prices. But as most have found, those little Java Games and tones can add up pretty fast. www.gamemobile.com has a huge listing of games that are free. Hundreds of puzzle action and trivia phone games. The only catch to the whole deal is that they download Advertisements and you look at two banner ads before the game will load.
So this is a cool option if you have an unlimited data plan. I have about 15 games on my phone that I didn't spend close to US$100.00 for. And I have checked the size, the cell phone games download includes initial advertisements so it replaces those each time it updates, so no worries of it taking up needed space.
Also, when I was out of service area out in the mountains, it couldn't download new advertisements and just defaulted to the first ones. So if you don't have an unlimited data plan, they may still work and just show you the same ads over and over.
Really hope to have this mobile games, by knowing each character from S1 til now S3, and now they all come into our java games and we do bring Heroes together with us all the time…yigou219 yigou2000

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Anonymous said...

We need to rebrand Web 3.0 into something more sexy like Web MMX (2010). The Web version.subversion model is soooooo Web 2.0.

Anonymous said...

Interesting observations and Imagination. I especially like your view about the dynamic, non-duplicable view of Identity that you mentioned and there is a need for some serious debate on issues of security & privacy.

Kevin Flood said...

Security will become even more of a challenge as the use of the semantic web creates opportunities to exploit your dynamically created web ID for devious and questionable purposes.
It will also be used positively to assure an individual or a business entity that you are who you say you are. One phenomena might be the prerequisite to provide access to your ID for any transaction oriented activity.
How will governments use this information is a big question mark. I suspect that certain governments are already using some form of establishing an ID footprint based on your web activity.