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The Future of the Web (Web 3.0?)

The Future of the Web (Web 3.0?)

A couple weeks ago I spoke at the Big Tweet, a Twitter networking event CommonPlaces co-organized with the Creative Economy Association. The event was held on the ocean at the beautiful new Center for the Arts at Endicott College, in Beverly, Massachusetts. We were thrilled to welcome a crowd of almost 350 to the event and everyone involved thought it was a great success.

I spoke briefly at the event about how different types of companies are using Twitter today to drive more traffic, increase sales, and improve their businesses. The audience was amazed when we spoke about some of the creative ways companies are doing things like tracking their competitors and selling to their prospects. I concluded the presentation by talking for a couple of minutes about the future of the Web. I mentioned to the audience that I had lunch with Bob Davis, whom I worked with over ten years ago when he founded Lycos. Bob has always had a great vision for where the Web is headed, and he was adamant about mobile devices being the future.

The next generation of iPhones, Blackberries, and other Web-enabled devices will become even more entwined with our everyday lives than they already are now. In fact, in two years the iPhone 3GS will appear crude. Twitter feeds people's desire to constantly be connected with their peers; being aware of what is going on, and keeping others updated on their lives. Compared to Facebook or MySpace, the functionality of Twitter is fairly narrow. After all, 140 character tweets make up 99% of the Twitter experience. And yet, Twitter has seen explosive growth because it delivers an experience that offers users complete connectedness.

The moral of the story: Make sure your websites provide an experience - not just an experience that your users will want to participate in from their PC, but one that will provide them with social connectivity that is available 24/7, because that's the level of attention that they are willing to devote to the right site.

The future is exciting because people will be connected like never imagined before. As traditional media fades and the web become mobile, businesses will need to adapt quickly or they will miss the opportunity to be a part of Web 3.0, which will be bigger than anything we have seen in the past.

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