What 3.0 All About Anyway?

The idea of time periods, generations, and eons is a big focus for society. We compare baby boomers to Gen Xers to the Me Generation to “Digital Natives”. Obviously the same facination extends to periods of technology. The speed at which we’ve innovated and improved over the past few years has been nothing short of impressive and has taken us to the amazing technical improvements available now.

As a result we are at a point where technical constraints are so low that there can be and should be a seamless transition between the digital and the physical worlds. So the experience that I begin online is easily continued in the real world and augmented through the use of handheld devices, digital signage and online connections.

Many people think that the 3.0 internet will be semantic, the online experience will be unique and tailored for each individual. I think that this is selling ourselves short. Instead, the internet version 3 will be about using technology to improve and build upon your real world experiences. From location awareness to augmented reality we already see this happening.

Because of the proliferation of social networks and media, it makes sense that this coupling of digital and real should continue beyond our social lives. We should take adavantage of technology to improve our healthcare, purchase decisions and general service options.

I’m still working out these thoughts, and I appreciate your comments. Am I way off track and Web 3.0 is going to be something altogether different?

Old East Village

On two separate occasions this week I found myself in the Old East Village in London.

And I realised two things;

1. I need to come here more often, there a collection of what might potentially be some interesting shops

2. The area is really a microcosm of London as a whole, spread too thin with abandoned and forgotten sections.

I know many people are working hard to improve the area, and I hope their efforts are rewarded. Since I discovered a store stocking authentic Montreal bagels, I know that I’ll be back in the neighbourhood before too long.

The Concept of Openness

I’ve had the opportunity over the last couple of weeks to think about what “openness” means. It is certainly the buzz word of a web 2.0 and social media age; but what message are we trying to convey when we throw that term out? Unfortunately I think we get it confused with and mistakenly think it is a synonym for crowdsourced. I think both concepts are very important, but they refer to different ideas. Openness means sharing information with a community and letting them see and hopefully understand how decisions are made.

I’m involved in a couple of really fun projects in the City of London, one of which is PodCamp London. PodCamps are free unconferences; the attendees decide what sessions take place. There is no booked keynote speaker, and everyone is encouraged to move about during the day. Conversations and topic discussions spontaneously pop up in the hallways and information is shared in a casual and transparent manner.

Yet the planning of the event is still somewhat traditional. The community isn’t asked to provide input on every detail of the day. There are decisions to be made, and that requires an organizing committee. A group of people, who remain accountable to the attendees, and yet make decisions that will effect them.

That doesn’t mean that PodCamp London isn’t open.  The attendees have a huge say in how the day unfolds. However without a group of people making final decisions the event could never place. I think this illustrates two other important components of openness; transparency and accountability.

As I work on numerous projects, I push for openness. I also understand that I won’t nor should I be involved in every decision. There will always be things that have to remain behind closed doors and sometimes it is necessary to work within existing frameworks that don’t look like they promote any form of openness.

When we push for open concepts, whether it be government, data, or the organizing of conferences, lets make sure that we understand what we want to achieve. Openness is great, it just needs context to be effective.