Web 3.0 and the Indian market
I usually do not comment on Web 2.0 stories but, the blog by Daniel Cohen was really nice and I thought I can use some points made in the blog to make a few of my 0wn as well.
Mr. Cohen first traces the broad distinctions between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. Then he talks about the evolving standards of Web 3.0 and attempts a definition based on a story that appeared first in NYT. Wikipedia had a defition of their own, to which Mr. Cohen links, but it has since been taken off, a sign surely of the still to solidify contours of the Web 3.0.
Of course, Mr. Cohen’s heart is not really in definitions, and rightly so. The important point he makes is that usage will drive the direction and shape of the Web 3.0. Equal relevance to the users and practitioners of internet based marketing are the monetization challenges. As advertising falls out of favour, the challenge will be to monetize interactions, many of them private, among friends.
What does it mean for us? Web 3.0 will be much more “media-agnostic” than even Web 2.0. Web, TV, mobile phones will all be platforms. This is of particular relevance to India because only with a rich content play on mobile phones, whose spread, penetration and growth continues to outstrip that of PCs in the country, will we ensure the relevance of the internet to the vast majority of our country. This has implications for content producers to an extent unimaginable today; especially if you keep local language content in mind. Also, most content in today’s media is aimed at the urban people; when you start generating content for the rural population, either to inform or educate or entertain, the content explosion will be large.
I for one would love a travel concierge service; something that will put together a vacation package with minimum fuss involving a train, air and bus journey and a hotel stay.
Early Web 3.0: The NYT article mentions technology which is close to going mainstream and the companies that are working to take them there. The usages are many; finding the “perfect vacation package” in response to a complex human query detailing budget, season, type of vacation spot preference and so on is one example. Mapping the right college to the right student, putting together the best retirement plan for a couple or finding the best hotel room for you; these are all areas where the breakthroughs are expected.
Many technologies and approaches are competing for adoption in this area. Artificial Intelligence based systems, large scale database trawlers, semantic searches to intelligent webcams, they all play a part.
Making predictions about who the winners of this sweepstakes will be/ is hazardous. The NYT article points to many current sites like Delicio.us, Flickr and Digg. However, users are fickle and as a recent trending analysis on Google Trends shows that Delicio.us and Digg are declining and Flickr is just about holding steady. The runaway winner for now seems to be Twitter, the microblogging site.