Nicholas Carr has never been one to shy away from voicing his opinion and although his arguments sound good, many times I find myself disagreeing with him because he always seems to be a bit disconnected from the rest of the Web. One of his latest posts titled, Welcome Web 3.0, talks about his relief to know that Web 2.0 is out the door and Web 3.0 is being ushered in. Hold up now, I’m not one to get into what makes something Web 2.0 or not, but to be grateful that it is on the way out just so we can start talking about something new is jumping the gun a bit.
If the Web has been around since ’94 (give or take a year) and Web 2.0 “started” in 2004 (I know this can be argued, but whatever) then only two years later we are all ready for the next phase of the web? Sure if you have been talking about Web 2.0 for the last year then you are probably getting tired of seeing the same websites copy the same websites and in your opinion nothing innovated is coming out anymore, but just because you are ready to see something new doesn’t mean the other 99% are ready for that leap.
How many everyday people do you know use Web 2.0 sites? How many people are thrilled with the potential of tagging or even bother to see what’s hot in the blogosphere by checking Technorati? How many everyday people feel that if a site doesn’t have a RSS feed then it serves no purpose to them?
How many sites have more users than Yahoo or MySpace, which are both considered to be Web 1.0 sites? Sure some sites might be ready for Web 3.0 and whatever the hell it is supposed to bring, but you need users to actually know and understand what is going on for it to be useful. The semantic web, the web we all have been dreaming for simply doesn’t make itself and in all honesty 99.99999% of the sites out there are not ready for it yet either.
Sure it sounds great that we will be able to type in a question like: “I’m looking for a warm place to vacation and I have a budget of $3,000. Oh, and I have an 11-year-old child.” and get the exact result we are looking for, but is it really needed yet? Especially when we still have so many problems still to tackle in this phase of the web? This is the Web that Tim Berners-Lee thought of over a decade ago, but we certainly weren’t in any rush then so I don’t think our impatience of talking about the same stuff should lead us to believe that we need to usher in the not so near future now.
I know that none of us that write on these crazy blogs think like the normal people think (they are weird aren’t they?), but what makes us believe that we are the ones to dictate where the world is going when none of us have created a site that even 5% of the web’s population has used (that would be around 50M users for all those calculating at home). We are stuck in our own echo chamber so when sites such as ReviewMe offer to pay you to write about them, we see 20 of our favorite sites doing so and all of a sudden get sick with the web, but also forget that there is so much more beyond those sites. I’m still enjoying the current phase of the web and believe that I have a lot more to learn so I’m in no rush to go anywhere.
Web 2.0 is too much fun.
More on what makes Web 3.0 great can be seen in the New York Times article Entrepreneurs See a Web Guided by Common Sense. Kottke believes you deserve an eye-poke just for saying “Web 3.0”. I’m down with that.