The Next Web Milestone: Social Web 3.0 (P1)

Social Web 3.0

I have a vision of the next milestone for the web. It may or may not be original, insightful, feasible, useful or amazing. I call it Social Web 3.0. It’s emerging in attitudes, ambitions and technologies. My new friend, Ben Barden, a blogger, thinks I’m mistaken. But also old friends like Mihai Fanache, Yahoo!’s ad man in Romania, believe I’m mistaken.

Triberr, a blog promotion Twitter app, may (or may not) become an app that helps us move forward to a more social web. Unlike those quick to ignore it’s potential, I’m willing to give Triberr the benefit of the doubt – until it’s shortcomings overcome it’s potential. But it doesn’t have to go down like that. JackB and I seem to agree that it’s worthwhile to see where Triberr goes. But that’s another blog post.

Before we can get into what signals Social Web 3.0 as the next milestone in the evolution of the web, let’s review Web 2.0.

Web 2.0

Try to imagine this with me: the sound of an angry (blue) bird being launched.


For most of the digerati, Web 2.0 was just another marketing buzzword. The buzzword, however, served three functions:

  1. Web 2.0 helped restore confidence after the dotcom bust, rallying Wall Street to re-engage and build bridges that could span the digital divide
  2. Like a picture that tells a thousand words, Web 2.0 painted a picture of what was happening online (nothing less than a cultural revolution!) and why you should participate as an individual, professional or organization
  3. Web 2.0 spared professionals selling their web-related services and products (myself included) from getting customers confused in the technical jargon and strategies as they related to innovation and the bottom line.

Saying, “web 2.0” was just like Buddha holding up a flower. And his student was immediately enlightened.

Some of my friends should dig that allusion. What do you think, Randall?

Better Spam

But Web 2.0 was not just a buzzword. As Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle observed back in 2009: Web 2.0 reflects a milestone in the evolution of the internet. It reflected attitudes, ambitions, and technologies that signaled an emphasis on several things.

  1. Software as an evolving service
  2. Architectures that enable novel forms of participation (liking)
  3. Scalability for seemingly unlimited growth of communities and user base
  4. Remixing data, information and content via sharing
  5. Converting individuals into a magnitude of news and marketing channels
  6. Forecasting and exploiting trends, interests, and preferences from crowd data and behavior
  7. Growing bigger and bigger lead lists that could be sold to marketers and advertisers (better spam list builder)

Of course, Mihai Coman, a good friend and a ferocious technologist, is less optimistic than I am. He reduces all these seven characteristics of Web 2.0 to “better spam”.

Whatever your take on web 2.0, that’s my take on the good, bad and ugly of it.

Social web 3.0

For me, the birthpangs of Social Web 3.0 are signaled by several interesting things:

  1. Ubiquitous Wi-Fi and bigger, cheaper broadband
  2. Smart phones (emphasis on iPhone and Android) and the mobile web
  3. Social Media a la Twitter and Facebook
  4. Social and mobile games
  5. The Pan-Arabic revolution (Wael Ghonim’s Revolution 2.0)
  6. Collective giving in response to suffering in Haiti and Japan
  7. The floundering evolution of online reputation
  8. The floundering evolution of a semantic web
  9. Problogging (mo better spam)
  10. Wikipedia

In my prophetic (or delusional) viewpoint, these things fit together like the pieces of a puzzle called Social Web 3.0. The pattern suggests to me that the web is approaching a new milestone. A tipping point.

That doesn’t mean old problems have been solved. Or will be solved. But it does mean that the digerati will be using the web in different ways. Some for good. Others for evil.

In my next blog post on the social web, I’ll attempt to define the destination that I glimpse by the signal of Social Web 3.0. But feel free to help me get there. Or correct me of my error before I make a greater fool of myself.

Chime in anytime Susan, Tim, or Ben.

I’m looking forward to your comment. And please like this post – if you liked it.

Stan Faryna
25 March 2011
Bucharest, Romania

If you’d like to connect with me, follow @Faryna and tweet me up on Twitter:


About Stan Faryna

Mr. Faryna is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

Stan Faryna served as a Global Voices author and translator. Global Voices is a non-profit global citizens’ media project founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a research think-tank focused on the Internet’s impact on society.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago DefenderJurnalul NationalThe Washington TimesSagarSaptamana FinanciaraSocial Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna also served as editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.


Copyright 1996 to 2012 by Stan Faryna.

Here’s my fair use policy for my content:

If you want to share my content with your own audience, you may quote a brief excerpt, if and only if, you provide proper attribution (Source: The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna) with a direct link to the source. Generally speaking, as long as you are not acting as an agent or on behalf of a corporation or institution, I am not interested in any payment for the quotation or use of a complete article. Nevertheless, you may not republish or translate the entire article without my written permission. Send your request for permission via Facebook. Or tweet me up me on Twitter.


2 Responses to The Next Web Milestone: Social Web 3.0 (P1)

  1. […] The Next Web Milestone: Social Web 3.0 (P1) « The unofficial blog … […]

  2. […] The ambition of the Persians to capture and own the greatest culture of that time is not different from the ambitions of the corporate-media enterprise such as AOL. They want to capture the heart of a cultural engine that holds unimaginable social potential. […]

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