Written by Sramana Mitra

I have written a few pieces already addressing the disjointed nature of the web, whereby, you go one place for content, another for community, and a third for commerce, the most notable of these is the popular, 4C: Yahoo’s Turnaround Formula.

Let’s quickly recap the terminology:

3C = Content, Commerce, Community | 4th C = Context | P = Personalization | VS = Vertical Search

This, I submit, is the formula for the future: Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS).

Web 2.0 has been a nichy phenomenon with hundred and thousands of microcap efforts addressing one of the Cs, lately, Community being the most popular force, producing companies like MySpace, Facebook, Piczo, Xanga, and Flixster.

In Web 1.0, Commerce had been the driving force, that produced companies like Netflix, BlueNile, Amazon, and eBAY. It had also resulted in the Dotcom meltdown.

The same period that is seeing the surge of Web 2.0, has also seen a great deal of investment in Vertical Search, like Sidestep for Travel.

Personalization has remained limited to some unsatisfactory efforts by the MyYahoo team, their primary disadvantage being the lack of a starting Context. More recently, Netvibes has raised a lot of buzz, but also lacks the same organizing principle: Context.

In Web 3.0, I predict, we are going to start seeing roll-ups. We will see a trunk that emerges from the Context, be it film (Netflix), music (iTunes), cooking / food, working women, single parents, … and assembles the Web 3.0 formula that addresses the whole set of needs of a consumer in that Context.

Imagine

- I am a petite woman, dark skinned, dark haired, brown eyed. I have a distinct personal style, and only certain designers resonate with it (Context).
- I want my personal SAKS Fifth Avenue which carries clothes by those designers, in my size (Commerce).
- I want my personal Vogue, which covers articles about that Style, those Designers, and other emerging ones like them (Content).
- I want to exchange notes with others of my size-shape-style-psychographic and discover what else looks good. I also want the recommendation system tell me what they’re buying (Community).
- There’s also some basic principles of what looks good based on skin tone, body shape, hair color, eye color … I want the search engine to be able to filter and match based on an algorithm that builds in this knowledge base (Personalization, Vertical Search).

Now, imagine the same for a short, fat man, who doesn’t really have a sense of what to wear. And he doesn’t have a wife or a girl-friend. Before Web 3.0, he could go to the personal shopper at Nordstrom.

With Web 3.0, the internet will be his Personal Shopper.

Sramana Mitra is an Entrepreneur, Founder CEO of 3 companies, Strategy Consultant to 50+ companies, and Author of a popular technology business blog, Sramana Mitra on Strategy.