Last week we ran a contest giving away 3 tickets to the Web 2.0 Expo conference in San Francisco next week, worth $1,500 each. To enter, all you had to do was define Web 3.0. We got a lot of awesome definitions and it was extremely tough to pick out 3 winners. About 15 entries made my initial short list, from which point the Read/WriteWeb authors (there are 14 of us in total now) gave their feedback. After all that, we came up with 3 winners – 1 ‘serious’ definition, 1 humorous one, and thirdly “The Editor’s Choice”. We’ve also listed 3 runners-up, in case any of the 3 first choices can’t make it to the conference. 

The winning entries:

The ‘Humorous’ definition winner: Josh, for comment #23 ‘Web 3.0 will complete my sentences’

“Web 3.0 will complete my sentences. It will think ahead of me. In a sense, it will think for me. For example, if I write “I like…” a web 3.0 app will complete my sentence with “…big butts and I cannot lie.”

I don’t know if it is earth shattering, but it helps me be more efficient.”

The ‘Serious’ definition winner: Robert O’Brien, for comment #42 ‘Web 3.0 ‚Äì a decentralized asynchronous me’

“Web 1.0 ‚Äì Centralised Them.

Web 2.0 – Distributed Us.

Web 3.0 – Decentralised Me

Hindsight: Web 1.0 turned into a broadcast medium. It was all about them. A case of industrial age thinking applied to a new landscape. Web 2.0, largely based on an analysis of what worked in Web1.0, is an alignment with TBL’s initial vision of the Web. The Web as connective tissue between us. Platform, participation and conversation. Really it is more than the Web. It is the Internet. It is new practices too. Ultimately it is about connectivity; applying constrains in the form of some sort-of agreed upon standards that make it easier to talk to one another. With new layers of connective wealth come new tools. In Web2.0’s case that allowed new forms of communication. With it associated ‘acceptable’ business models – hence the Google economy.

Web 1.0 was the first time to show the value of standards, Web 2.0 is teaching us how liberating standards can be. Web 3.0 will reflect on what worked in Web2.0. It will mean more constraints for better communication/connectivity. Improved connectivity will mean revised practice and new business models.

Therefore Web 3.0 must be about me! It’s about me when I don’t want to participate in the world. It’s about me when I want to have more control of my environment particularly who I let in. When my attention is stretched who/what do I pay attention to and who do I let pay attention to me. It is more effective communication for me!

When it is about me it means Web 3.0 must be about more semantics in information, but not just anything. Better communication comes from constraints in the vocabularies we use. Micro formats will lead here helping us to understand RDF and the Semantic Web. With more concern over my attention comes a need to manage the flow of information. This is about pushing and pulling information into a flow that accounts for time and context. Market based reputation models applied to information flows become important. Quality of Service (QOS) at the application and economic layer where agents monitor, discover, filter and direct flows on information for me to the devices and front-ends that I use. The very notion of application [Application is a very stand-alone PC world-view. Forget the Web, Desktop, Offline/Online arguments] disappears into a notion components linked by information flows. Atom, the Atom API and semantics, particularly Micro formats initially, are the constraints that will make this happen. Atom features not because of technical merit but by virtue of it’s existing market deployment in a space that most EAI players won’t even consider a market opportunity. Hence Web based components start using Atom API as the dominate Web API – Feed remixing is indicative. Atom will supplant WS* SOA.

User centric identity takes hold. This extends the idea that everyone has an email address and mobile number, why not manage it for single sign-on and more. Universal Address-book anyone?

More Market based brokerage business models emerge, earning revenue on the ‘turn’, as we learn more about the true power of AdSense/Adword’s underling business model and realise there are close parallels to the worlds financial markets.

Reliable vocabularies, user identity and trusted [i.e. user controllable] reputation models, market based brokerage business models all become a necessity as the more decentralized event driven web becomes a reality.

Web 3.0 ‚Äì a decentralized asynchronous me.’

And finally, the Editor’s Choice winner: Mayur Jobanputra for comment #35 ‘Warning: This comment is BETA’

Ed’s Note: The reason I chose this was mainly due to Mayur’s extra efforts to win a Web 2.0 Expo ticket, because he emailed New York Times technology columnist David Pogue to ask for his support. What’s more, this ploy actually worked. David Pogue popped into the comments on Mayur’s blog to say:

“I hear you!

And I wish you the best of luck.

Unfortunately, I can‚Äôt get into the business of endorsing one candidate or another‚ÄìI‚Äôd never escape all the requests‚Äìbut I‚Äôm sure you‚Äôll win on the merits!”

Well Mayur, for getting the attention of the NY Times – and of course for a great Web 3.0 definition – the third ticket is all yours 🙂 Here is Mayur’s entry:

“Warning: This comment is BETA. I reserve the right to change my view at any time without telling you.

Everyone seems to think that the (near) future of the web is the ability to use your apps offline. I think thats a very narrow view of where the technology is headed. Companies banking on this concept are doomed. Going “off the grid” is going to be a thing of the past for future generations. Eventually, you will always be connected to the cloud (aka “Internet” for you newcomers). For example, the idea of logging into your favorite instant messenger will be passe. You will always be online be able to contact people with streaming video and audio at any time from any where..your car..your phone..your home. The trend in web video, social networking and staying connected to friends and family is just starting. The thirst for people-to-people communications is still mostly unquenched (sorr for the pun). Sites like facebook can draw such a huge audience even though they fail completely in keeping users connected (eg: you only know whats happening when you login).

Realtime video and audio anytime anywhere with anyone you want is coming. Is it here yet? Sort of..but not in mass consumption, and your local ISP is happier for it. Its really a technical problem and not one thats easily solved. Just imagine if your local ISP was providing fiber to your home for 10% more than what you pay now? Everyone would take advantage of the immense speeds. Video apps and full screen video communication would be everywhere. The problem is ISP’s banked on cable and dsl connections, spent millions…no billions to develop the infrastructure. They have since realized that many more people can afford to have high-speed Internet services, or at least are placing a high value on their ability to go online. The last I heard, 1/10th of the world is online.

Until the technical problem of easily serving full-screen, quality video to every high-speed user is solved, we will continue to see various interesting social networking and video streaming sites (if joost gets out of private beta asap, they may have a fighting chance with p2p idea but there days are numbered imho). Web 3.0 to me is video-driven social networking, video-driven news blogs and user created entertainment, and video-driven email (yep..one day!).

P.S. I love how every man and his dog is trying to create the next dating site masking as a social networking site!”

Runners-Up

These 3 entries were the runners-up and (in the order below) will be selected for a ticket should any of the 3 winners not be able to make it to Web 2.0 Expo.

1. Jonas Brandon for comment #18 ‘dictionary definition’

2. Charlie Wood for comment #11 ‘Not to be glib, but Web 3.0 = Web 1.0 + Web 2.0.’

3. Andre Stechert for comment #37 ‘It’s time to register your new blog: onlineofflineweb.com.’

As always, it’s difficult to choose just a few winners from such a quality crop of entries. Sorry to those who missed out! Congrats to the 3 winning entries, I’ll be in contact by email.