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What is Web 3.0

July 24, 2009

I’ve talked a bit about storytelling on the web. There have been some great things written about storytelling on the web. We’re getting there. But I think this is a great time to take a look back, and then look ahead. Before I define web 3.0, lets start at the beginning.

1990-2000, Web 1.0, Accessed via Dial-up.

AKA, The Brochure years. These are the years where people “Had to Have Websites”. Pause for a second, and consider that. It was the first marketing tool outside of business cards that people HAD TO HAVE!

The 90’s were filled with massive online brochures that interacted with people the same way a TV might. It said stuff, and offered links to places that said other stuff. Most sites didn’t have a goal, meaning most clients soured on the website in about a year, creating a new industry of “Updating the look of the website”. Many people dislike their website, and thing the fix is making it flashier, or making it pink.

The reality is, most people dislike their website because they can’t figure out what its there for.

As for storytelling? Not really. More like pontificating.

2000-2009 — Web 2.0.
The Digital presence – mostly broadband access.

The quality of the tools simultaneously with the speeds that people accessed the internet.

The influx of Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, MySapce – the so-called Web 2.0 tools – offer brands more than a website, it offers a web presence.

These places are SEO rich, up-datable sites that don’t require programming knowledge (although, the better Facebook pages use FBML).

A Facebook page is a living conversation, a website a one-way brochure. The so-called Web 2.0 decade uses Wiki’s, blogs, Google Docs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc to connect to fans and give them an inside look at a brand.

Some people experimented with storytelling. An ARG from McDonald’s and an interesting idea from BMW jump to mind. These are well-crafted stories that use the tools of Web 2.0 to entertain and inform. It’s getting better for stories. But I think we’re on the cusp of better things.

2010-?, Web 3.0.
High-speed hand-help access.

(Note: 90% of Japanese people have mobile high-speed access.)

Web 3.0 is about access, but it’s going to be about the content people access. So, I think it going to be about stories.

As a trained copywriter, my background is in content creation. The role of a creative team in advertising is to tell a story in the words and tone of the brand. True, that’s a simplified example of what it really means, because what truly matters are ideas based on insights. But ideas are often told through stories. And the web, with it’s ease of high speed access, is a blank canvas for storytelling.

The Web is no longer this novelty thing, it’s an important part of our daily lives. And marketers aren’t going to break in here by telling people they should buy stuff. They are going to get in here by telling stories.

And the best part is, all the tools can combine to tell the stories. Customers can follow along in high speed on their computers, TV’s, or mobiles.

Again, it’s the ability to quickly tell a story (using video, audio, images, text in many places, all at once, in a manageable interesting manner.

that’s web 3.0. It’s not about tools. It’s about access and what marketers do with the access that potential and current customers are currently enjoying.

That’s what lies in store in 2010. Actually, it’s happening now, but it looks better to have a nice round number like 2010.

It tells a better story.

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