Calacanis: Web 3.0 is Whatever I Say it is

    October 4, 2007

Humpty Dumpty: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

Alice: “The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

You have to hand it to Jason Calacanis, the diminutive Web entrepreneur behind Mahalo, for completely ignoring all the ink and electrons that have been spilled writing about the concept of Web 3.0 — including conversations like the one I had with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the guy who invented the Web — and just coming up with his own definition. Not only that, he has the audacity to call it the “official” definition. Official according to whom? Why, to Jason, of course.

Not surprisingly, as Fred Wilson points out in his post, Jason’s definition is also effectively a thumbnail description of Mahalo, the people-powered search/directory service he is trying to build. Web 3.0, he says, is:

“the creation of high-quality content and services produced by gifted individuals using Web 2.0 technology as an enabling platform.”

That’s funny, because every time I’ve heard anyone who actually knows anything describe it, they use terms like “semantic Web,” and talk about adapting the way the Web is built so that information can be aggregated and linked in different ways automatically, as Josh Kopelman describes here. But that kind of definition wouldn’t suit Jason’s purposes, so in effect it doesn’t exist. I think I like the definition Jemima Kiss came up with better.