Web 3.0 : Are we there already?

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People have been discussing Web 3.0 for at least a year now! Jeffery Zeldman talked about it but more in the sense of “lets get off this Web 2.0″ merry go round and move on to the next ride in this amusement park that we call the web.

Andy Carvin said:

First, we had Web 1.0 - the read-only web. Then came Web 2.0 - the read-write web - all of these services that make it easy for us to contribute content and interact with others. If you keep up the programming analogy, the next phase would be Web 3.0 - the Read-Write-Execute Web.

And Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google discussed it a few days ago. He said that while Web 2.0 was based on Ajax, Web 3.0 will be:

“applications that are pieced together” - with the characteristics that the apps are relatively small, the data is in the cloud, the apps can run on any device (PC or mobile), the apps are very fast and very customizable, and are distributed virally (social networks, email, etc)..

Not sure why he defined Web 2.0 as “based on Ajax”; I presume it is a euphemism for “interactive” and not a technical term.

If this is what the definition of web 3.0 is, then we are here already! We are already doing mashable things and using web 2.0 to distribute it.

Honestly, this numbering scheme troubles me; every time a vendor releases software that is deemed as “major upgrade” I keep thinking that somebody just fixed some bugs in the previous version, got some more stickers to put on the box and now wants more $$$ for the new version.

I hope thats not the case for Web 3.0.

If you have any doubt, check around: how many of the Web 2.0 applications that you know are still in beta phase? Shouldn’t we wait till they are out of beta testing?

It’s either that, or the whole Web 2.0 was really Web 3.0 in Beta testing.


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Mundu IM for iPhone : Let them charge for the application, please.

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TechCrunch has an article about Mundu’s IM application for iPhone titled “Mundu Has A Great iPhone Chat Application. Why Will They Charge For It?”

It really burns me up when I see articles like these. What’s wrong with charging for an application that has already been rated as Great? Why should everything be “free” or “ad supported”

People need to get off from this this binge of “free software.”

_Just put an ad_ has become such an overused mantra; I wouldn’t care much except that the advice is not effective and may even be counter productive. Don’t make all the start ups go down this slippery slope of free software.

The battle of free vs. paid, for content, was fought between NYTimes and WSJ; and who won? The correct overall answer is “both”; but the narrow business answer is that NYTimes admitted that the everything free mantra has limitations by starting the Times Select paid service.

I have no relationship with, or particular affinity, towards Mundu; Putting an ad during an IM conversation, and monetizing it is not as simple as putting a snippet of code on a web page, and then laughing all the way to the bank. It is not.

We can’t expect all software, to be free, all the time; So many of the people who suggest just putting an ad, are the same people who run Adblock on their Firefox browsers, and have modified their registries so they never see an ad from Yahoo.

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There is room for free, ad supported and paid services. Let companies decide which revenue model works best for them.

Mundu has to figure out what they want to charge for their service. If the product is exceptional, people will pay the $11 for the software. After all, the folks who bought iPhone have already shown that they are willing to pay a premium for something that they like.


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Chesspark : Chess+social networking gets angel investment

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Chess is not like life… it has rules!

Chess players might be a logical bunch, but they are not a loyal bunch. There are many sites to play chess online - Infinaina Chess, Chess Rally, ChessBase, chess corner, and several others and it is not uncommon to encounter the same people at different sites. One of the reasons for the proliferation of these sites has been that the chess playing experience offered by most of them has not been as robust and satisfying as one would like.

Chesspark.com site has been in beta testing for more than a year now and has been able to create a strong base of players who have found the platform to be attractive. One can play the game online or through a client, which looks very much like a widget. They currently have about 100,000 users signed up.

The rule of the thumb is that the 1 to 2% of the current users will convert to a paying, subscription based service. It is possible that the conversion rate is much higher in the chess player community, but even if it goes up to 3-4%, and the rate of user base expansion continue at the same level, that gives us about 300k users in about a year, and ball park revenue (on the higher side) to be 600k-1M/year.

ChessPark is chess playing and social networking, together. It was created by Open Source software veterans using the Jabber Instant Messaging platform as a framework.

Chesspark wants to add some cool features to the site and just completed an investment round with angel investor Jon Callaghan of True Ventures, Burnt Norton, Inc. and Eaglebrook School. This round brings the total amount raised to $1 million which Chesspark.com will use to fund the completion of its public beta test in anticipation of their full-featured product launch in Q3 of this year.

But as they say: “Good positions don’t win games, good moves do.” - Gerald Abrahams.

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Tagged : How did a spam site get a $117M valuation?

taggedA while ago I heard from TechCrunch that Tagged was the fastest growing social network! I ignored the news, because I knew that they were doing it by spamming and tricking people into signing up.

I have received may be a couple of dozen “invitations” to join Tagged, from people I have never communicated with, except that a few years ago they may have written to me. I got the invitation because I was in their address book - Tagged somehow picked up all the email addresses from the victim’s address book and spammed them.

I have also gotten more apologies from people who wrote to me and explained how the Tagged service tricked them into spamming.

Hi5 has done that too but I think Tagged has been more “aggressive”, which is how people describe them when they are in polite company.

Here is another example of how they are tricking people; And other things people have said about them.

Tagged.com Sucks!; I hate tagged.com, Avoid Tagged.com like the plague.
The only thing they are big in, is spamming.

Also, can somebody explain to me why, if I click on the “browse” in Tagged, 80%+ of the pictures are of scantily dressed women? And they all joined on June 7, 2007! When did the demographic of the web surfer change? Why didn’t I get a memo?

Now I hear that they might have received funding of $15M with a premoney valuation of $102M. Let me spell that out if you didn’t get the full impact of it; $117,000,000.00 post money. Presumably someone thinks that this venture is going to be a $500M enterprise someday!?

What happened to doing “due diligence” on the companies before investing? Have the pickings been really that slim?

May be you can make short term money out of spamming, but that is not a business model.


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