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8/6/2008
03:59 AM
Paige Finkelman
Paige Finkelman
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Plus One Whatever You Say

I've been mulling over Marc Benioff's guest post on TechCrunch for a few days now. I wanted to really get my arms around what he proposes Web 3.0 to be.Firstly, I have a problem with the moniker in and of itself. Attaching a version number isn't particularly web-like of him. In fact, it has a strong software connotation. Just adding a plus one to what the market is currently experiencing doesn't necessarily mean it's the next phase of the web. On the contrary, I think his post is more of a marketing pitch than anything.It seems all too convenient that Web 3.0 mirrors more or less what Force.com is seeking to flood the market with. Their platform-as-service works so well becomes it doesn't rely on infrastructure. Benioff referenced Jeremy Roche from CODA in his post. I went to the Tour de Force in Santa Clara and saw Roche attest to the value, time and freedom Force.com added to his business. Force.com definitely puts forth a compelling business model - one that will even surpass the impact of Salesforce.com's CRM. Plus, with VisualForce, you can create an alluring, custom interface. On the surface, no one will know you're running your app on the Force.com platform.Seeing the platform in action was very impressive. There's no doubt that Force.com is doing amazing things in the space, but I don't think the movement that Benioff is describing should be labeled as Web 3.0. In fact, I don't think anything should be labeled Web 3.0. Ever.Just as Benioff did in his post, to provide industry perspective, we have to examine where we've come from. Tim O'Reilly originally pioneered the term Web 2.0 - his definition:

Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform.
Before this buzzword came into effect, there was what is now known as Web 1.0. This a retro-active term, and applies to most read-only, static sites created between 1994 and 2004. Fast forwarding to the future, I just checked Wikipedia to see how they define Web 3.0. There is not yet any mention of wht Benioff contributed in his blog post.Benioff wrote that:
The new rallying cry of Web 3.0 is that anyone can innovate, anywhere. Code is written, collaborated on, debugged, tested, deployed, and run in the cloud.
Isn't that what we're currently embarking on in Web 2.0? I'm not convinced that he's describing anything new. The Internet operating system is definitely the future. It might be semantic. It might possess intelligent apps. It might bring forward technologies and tools we can't yet conceive. Regardless of what lies ahead, it's exciting.I just hope we think of a better name.

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