2007 – the Year of the New Internet Revolution?

I see a buzz lately on the web on what seems to be the beginnings of what could be “Web 3.0”, or “the Social Web” as I’ll term it (we’ll see if that name sticks). I see a buzz like none other in awhile where software developers seem to be the ones with the power to make some serious business moves, as in the days of Microsoft and Apple, the dot com boom, and a slight blip of Web 2.0 (I wouldn’t call that a boom).

It seems to have started with the advent of Social Networks, such as myspace, facebook, and digg. These came about in response to the Web 2.0 craze (note that the first revolution occured when the internet came into place and people had connections fast enough and accessible enough to grasp the limited technology available), started in my opinion by Google and Gmail. With the sudden increase in internet speed and much faster computers, businesses could now afford to introduce new technology, such as AJAX and streaming video. Libraries were built around this, and all of the sudden new sites came about with very large user bases. A new form of Marketing (as Seth Godin teaches) came about in which typical cold calling was no longer possible. As data became more public, and SPAM more prevalent, people began to trust their friends and family more than the average Sales Person.

Out came the social networks. A long used marketing technique called viral marketing was put to use to its fullest at this point, launching a grass-roots effort of content publishing and linking like never before. All of the sudden people could trust the internet again!

These social networks have huge user bases, and grow very fast, if popular. A hit from a site such as Digg is known to bring a site to its knees. Facebook has become a way of life – your own “Personal Internet”. Twitter has become the new addiction.

A huge event happened recently. Paul Allen brought the excitement of it to my attention. You see, recently Facebook announced they were opening up their API to developers. This is a huge opportunity for developers like myself and others to come up with new business opportunities in a grass-roots effort. Developers again have been given control, if we take it.

I notice Twitter has become one of the first apps to jump on the Facebook API bandwagon. I’m willing to bet others will soon too – there is a huge user-base on Facebook with a shared revenue model. They will become most peoples’ view of the internet in the future. There are so many applications for this I can’t begin, and it’s only in its infancy.

One more thing you may have noticed. Today Google announced a new set of libraries along with a browser extension, that until now could only be obtained in proprietary formats such as Flex, or else they were really hard to learn (in javascript libraries such as Dojo). They announced a technology called Google Gears, which will now allow users to view a website or use a web technology in “offline mode”, saving all content to a local database or file system on your local computer’s hard drive. This, again, is huge. Think of a genealogy app such as PAF running on something like this. Google Reader has already implemented an “offline mode” using this technology. The possibilities for new business applications for this are endless.

As you can see, there are endless possibilities out there for software developers to start their idea and make it big. Google and Facebook are only the beginning. They are starting a new revolution of a new, higher level internet, which will open up a new way of viewing the internet world as we see it, in “the Social Web”.

digg_url = ‘http://www.digg.com/programming/Could_the_Facebook_API_and_Google_Gears_be_Web_3_0’;


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