If Web 1.0 was defined by the dot bomb economy and the wholesale slaughter of Herman Miller chairs with the rise of the idea of funded companies versus companies that make a profit. If Web 2.0 has been defined by the digg.com, slashdot.com, web forum, web troll, MySpace, FaceBook, instant messaging, and social impacts of software. Then 2007 may be the year of Web 3.0.
What is Web 3.0? On demand media at the users behest. IPTV streamed and high speed to every cell phone and laptop. Media and content as the user desires it in forms the user can possibly use. Integrated distance learning for education with the technologies of collaboration and distance communication. Web 3.0 is defined by user centric technologies that make the horsepower and technology seamless and indefinable to the user. Cell phones that hand off the IM chat requests to the users computer and back again defined by blue tooth technologies. Cars that not only open the door for you (as current Toyota’s do), but media is transported seamlessly between the home and the vehicle. Cell phones with auto locks for at risk drivers from working in the car. Web 3.0 is about making usability a fact rather than an after thought. Media technologies and content that has the user centric.
Web 3.0 has a darker side too. As the mass of information increases about each person the ability for thieves to steal identities increases and fraud increases it’s ambivalent walk through the commerce network of online retailing. At those frauds increase and the cost becomes apparent to the user and credit agencies start to clamp down on users and websites the criminal element will become a target. Yet little will be done as the problem is hard and users will abandon all but top ten retailers without some kind of promise of security. The idea that technology exists as an entity unto itself and abandons the user will become less of an issue.
Look for a few things to occur that are technology related but not specifically technology.
1) A backlash against outsourcing help desk systems bites into the bottom line of companies and the answer will be something called rural sourcing. Look for lots of media attention in the spring and summer on this topic.
2) Convergence is a big topic, yet you can’t get a good telephone, PDA, MP3, device that does what a single use device will do in one device. I’d rather pay $1K for something that does what my video iPod 80g, Blackberry, Palm, does rather than spending half again as much betting all the devices separately. BS about the Apple iPhone not withstanding look for more devices to enter this space.
3) Vista will not be a bust. It will cause a bubble in PC sales for at least one or two quarters but it has been nearly 10 years since a major OS/Interface change in Windows (3.1 to Win 95). Companies may NOT swap to Vista and when faced with end of life support contracts on Win XP, they will have an unprecedented chance to jump ship. Look for quarter 3 and 4 stories about companies switching to Linux and especially OSX. Windows isn’t going anywhere but the hostile EULA’s may erode the user base extensively.
4) Look for extensive coverage of the threat electronic voting machines mean to the political process. There has been an underground movement (black box voting) talking about this topic, but it continues to percolate in the tech culture consciousness and has to boil over to the main stream media sooner or later. The concept of elections being stolen will cause much angst. The actual news about the likelihood of evil having been done will be small it will be the fear that causes the most discussion.