Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Current Status of Web Evolution by Watching Web 2.0 Summit

The 2007 Web 2.0 Summit conference has come to its end. Richard MacManus at Read/WriteWeb has summarized the conference by saying that this conference is a success but lack of a focused theme. By contrast, he listed a timeline of Web 2.0 as follows.

       * Oct '04: Web 2.0 is Born
       * Oct '05: Web 2.0 Tips (a.k.a. "cautious optimism and cynical buzz")
       * Nov '06: Web 2.0 Matures
       * Apr '07: Web 2.0 Goes Mainstream

I, however, made a complement to this timeline.

       * Oct '07: Web 2.0 Starts to be flourishing

Impression of Web 2.0 Summit 2007

Web 2.0 is starting to be flourishing! This is the most important signal delivered by this Web 2.0 Summit 2007. Technologies are ready, and it's time to exploit human creativity on manipulating these technologies. This is what this conference tells the world.

That Web 2.0 is starting to be flourishing explains why it seems that this conference is short of a focused theme. Web 2.0 is now going everywhere. Different people are thinking of how to apply this vision to their professional realms and make profits from this hype. It thus causes the diversity of topics, and so the theme is hard to be focused.

But, isn't the lack of a theme itself also a theme? Yes, it is. Diversity dominates this conference. People all talk about themselves. It is short of extra energy to care of a common theme to everyone. This is the sign of being flourishing.

Current Status from the View of Web Evolution

So what does this current status mean? I want to share my view based on my vision of web evolution. I have three predictions based on the observation of this Web 2.0 Summit.

1. We are now at the stage of rapid quantitative accumulation of Web-2.0 resources.

The core technologies of Web 2.0 mature. The rest of the work is how to maximize the usage of these technologies. From traditional big boys such as Microsoft to numerous small startups, everyone is trying their own way to dig gold from this Web 2.0 hype. In the following few year, we are going to see tremendous increase of quantity of Web-2.0 resources on the Web. Now it is the best to produce revenue from Web-2.0 products.

2. The preparation of transition to Web 3.0 has begun.

I emphasize that it is the preparation but not the transition itself. At present online Web-2.0 resources are still too few on both its quantity and diversity to really trigger the next transition. As we know, sufficient quantitative accumulation is the prerequisite of a qualitative transition. The general philosophical theory tells us that a qualitative transition can never happen without such a sufficient quantitative accumulation, and certainly we are not there yet.

This observation tells why Twine is still only a Web-2.0 or at most a Web-2.5 product but not a true Web-3.0 product. In some sense, Twine likes an early-born baby and the entire environment has not been ready to its healthy growth yet. But Twine is a sign that Web 3.0 is ahead.

3. Web-2.0 bubble is unavoidable, but probably it is also necessary.

In order to accelerate the emergence of Web 3.0, we need more Web-2.0 companies (instead of more Web-3.0 startups) at present. It sounds controversy. But remember that no Web-3.0 companies can exist before the world of Web 2.0 has been flourishing enough. Since no one knows how much flourishing is enough, only over-flourishing can tell us that it has already been enough. By over-flourishing, we get a bubble. This is thus the dilemma.

Web 2.0 stands on the flourishing world of Web 1.0, and it was so flourishing that caused a bubble. Similarly, Web 3.0 must stand on the flourishing world of Web 2.0, and there is no other way to make Web 3.0 happen. By this mean, Web-2.0 bubble is not only unavoidable, but also necessary. In order to survive from this coming bubble, however, any ambitious Web-2.0 company must prepare its own shift from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 when at present it is still focusing on producing Web-2.0 products.


Anonymous said...

Thought I would bring to your attention ZCubes, which is a seamless interface to all functions, data, media and actions.

ZCubes is the world's first website where you can seamlessly browse, search, edit, paint, draw, hand-write, watch, listen, publish, type, print, network, teach, learn, and work.

Its simple power is demonstrated in detailed drawings like
http://storage.zcubes.com/zsave/zfolders/1F5493C2EAC543CC86A0A9B47C8ED8E1/Eskimo.html (IE required). From blogs to websites to cards to albums to presentations to documents to browsing - all of them works through a single seamless interface - all on the web - with nothing installed.

New platforms are changing the perception of what you can do, or would do, or could do on the web.

Yihong Ding said...


Thank you for sharing ZCubes with me. I have looked at the page you suggested and the ZCubes site. They are impressive; so is the claim of being Web 3.0.

I need to spend more time looking at this site. I very much agree to your last assessment: "New platforms are changing the perception of what you can do, or would do, or could do on the web."

-- Yihong