Jason Calacanis has provided us with the official definition for Web 3.0 — smart people + Web 2.0 technology, a recipe that amazingly corresponds to his own Mahalo project. People around the blog-o-sphere were up in arms, gnashing their teeth, no one had realized that it was time to define Web 3.0. Bloggers quickly polished up their definitions, counter-definitions or attacks. Some claimed to have defined Web 3.0 sooner and pointed to prior art.
But when the din resided, they asked me, although we’re not sure what Web 3.0 is, and we’re not sure why it makes sense to assign numbers to the Web— what is Web 4.0? Surely if we are going to invest our blood and treasure in the Web, we should associate ourselves with the highest possible number.
So here it is, the official definition of Web 4.0: It’s Web 2.0 mashup/api/services technology + user-asserted identity + really private, important personal information. Smart people are in there somewhere, but really— that approach is soooo Web 3.0. You may ask, can we see any of these Web 4.0 companies? Sure, there are a few starting to emerge, take a look at: Microsoft’s HealthVault, whatever Google’s Health initiative turns out to be and on the financial side, things like Mint and CakeFinancial. Although on the financial side these companies aren’t really 4.0 yet. Look for a vault that contains all your financial data which the vendors with whom you do business will be obliged to deliver to you. You’ll be putting the digital media that you own in there as well. Oh, and throw Doc Searl’s idea about Vendor Relationship Management in there as well, you’ll store your VRM prefs there as well. Stuff you are, stuff you own, data about stuff you own, stuff you want, and of course, your attention data. But it’s gotta be secure and it’s gotta solve the identity problem.