November 12th, 2006
It’s easy to embrace the New York Times hype about Web 3.0 — Web 2.0 hasn’t built that many successful businesses yet, so why not drop it already and mover on to the next big thing so that we can keep pumping up start-up valuations for bigger exits? Rapid software releases may be the new development paradigm, but we shouldn’t forget that the objective is to make the software work — and make the business work. The evolution to a digital, networked world may require several “software releases,” but let’s not get deluded into looking for another evolutionary phase over the horizon — the one we’re in is going to take a long time to work itself out. And it’s going to be hard work.
The Times article equates Web 3.0 with a newly discovered quest for artificial intelligence — even though that quest has been around for decades. The web has indeed buried us in content, with precious little useful information, and machine intelligence on the network will undoubtedly help us dig ourselves out. But I’m with Ross Mayfield on this — I’m still betting on human intelligence in the near term.
Of course I have a vested interest in avoiding the upgrade to Web 3.0 — I don’t want the hassle of upgrading to Publishing 3.0.