Over the past several weeks, I have been privy to many projects in different stages of development. One thing that seems to hold true for many of them is that the developers’ idea of “the next big thing” is a hybrid of sorts.
Some are leaning towards social media mixed with social networking. Most of the social media sites have tried to head in this direction to some extent. All have fallen short. Most notably, the Digg changes a few months ago have turned from an attempt to socialize social media (with shouts and other features) into an unfair way to game the system. The results have been disastrous.
Social networking sites have each tried to crossover to other mediums. MySpace has been attempting (in vane) to offer portal-style integration, while Facebook had Beacon for a couple of weeks before realizing that becoming an advertising medium unlike any other had strangely predictable results.
StumbleUpon has been the only site to have some measure of success in trying new things, but that is at a scale. It isn’t that they have succeeded at anything outside of their core service. They just haven’t outright failed like the rest of the sites.
Enter stage left the Web 3.0 Social Hybrid. W3SH sites are all the rage right now because so few know exactly what will work and what won’t. The first wave of social sites, even the juggernauts like the ones mentioned above, all have glaring holes in them. User dissatisfaction is rampant, larger companies are considering them for buyout but not pulling the trigger because they don’t know how to make real money with them yet, and investors are lining up to start something without knowing what that “something” will be.
Of all of the ideas that I have reviewed over the past couple of months, only one really seems to have the legs, vision, and marketability to truly set the pace in 2008 and beyond. Only one seems to be a true contender to start Web 3.0. Sadly, I’m under strict orders not to discuss it here (or anywhere). Yet. Stay tuned though. If my gut feelings are correct, this one will really take off here in a few months.
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Read more about Web 3.0 soon on this blog.