Scripting News for 5/23/2007

Today’s talk 

Audio of interview with Stephen Evans of BBC World Service.

Today’s quick hits 

Jose Marinez: Poor Man’s SMS Gateway.

Rex Hammock: Web 3.0 delayed until fourth quarter.

Peter Rojas asks if there’s interest in an unconference to discuss the podcast player. I would certainly participate and help organize the event. Podcasting won’t be fully ready for prime time until there’s a player designed specifically for podcasting.

A recent article about Steven Rosenberg, who’s mediating the dispute with Russo & Hale on Friday.

Todd Cochrane says Google buying Feedburner is “pure evil.”

What do you think of Fleck?

Movie of the beautiful beach, pool and patio at the hotel.

Congrats to the Knight Award winners, many of whom are readers of this weblog.

Congrats to Feedburner, whose $100 million payday was confirmed by Mike Arrington. Let’s keep an eye on Google hoping they are kind to the ecology of the RSS coral reef.

What is Web 3.0? 

My talk went well, and I did talk briefly about how we should think about Web 3.0. I know other people have said it’s the Semantic Web, and maybe that use of the name will stick. I’m with Tim Berners-Lee who says Web 2.0 is really what the web itself is about. He always intended it to be a two-way medium.

First, I think of Web 2.0 as the Two-Way Web, the Read-Write Web, the Web of User-Generated Content. It’s Flickr and blogs and wikis. It’s everybody creating the medium for everyone else.

Imho, the next step after that, I hope, is the professional media fully embracing the new media, no longer see it as a threat to their continued employment. See amateur public writing, the former audience who is no longer silent, as sources who can get attention for their ideas without going through an intermediary.

I think it will continue to shrink until they accept bloggers and podcasters as legitimate sources of news and perspective, without interpretation by professional reporters.

I totally disagree with my friend Robert Scoble who says that newspapers are dead. There’s always been too much made of death in the tech world, in fact newspapers are still published, you can pick one up at any airport or train station. Many people have them delivered at home. We often go to newspaper websites for the news. Sure, there are problems, and the world is changing, but imho, we’ll all do better if something called the San Francisco Chronicle continues to be published, even though the form of the newspaper will certainly change in the future. It would be a waste of a tradition, of a good coral reef, if newspapers really died. They need to change, and imho, when that change happens, we will safely be in the era of Web 3.0.

If you have questions about this vision, please post a comment here.

Good morning everybody 

I’m here at Future In Review, sitting between Dan Gillmor on my left, and Stewart Brand on my right.

We’re hearing Cynthia Figge interview Janine Benyus about biomimickry.

I’m interviewed later this morning on ideas for the future in blogging, podcasting, etc.

Last night at dinner I talked with Stewart Brand about future-safing archives, so my schpiel about that is well-rehearsed. I’ll certainly talk about that this morning.

Here are some of the questions they asked me to address.

What’s on the horizon — still OPML, podcast player (wifi, open to other apps, recording), real unconferences.

Service I’d like to buy that isn’t available right now — future-safe web sites, relate this to conversation with Charlie Nesson.

What is Web 3.0? Easy to answer. Stay tuned.

Excellent wifi at Hotel del Coronado 

36 responses to this post.

  1. How long are you in SD?

    I’ll buy the first round if you have some time for a drink …


  2. The Hotel Del is so wonderful. When I lived and worked in San Diego, we always brought friends who were visiting us there.

    We stayed a few times in the old original building while vacationing with friends and family. Attended many functions, brunches, and beach outings too.

    Great hotel, great beach, great weather. I AM so envious. Enjoy!


  3. I think you’re right that Web.30 (urgh) will be more semantic. Organised. (hello opml!)

    I also think that it’s very much like Web 2.0 – except calmer and more loving ๐Ÿ™‚

    More Attention.


  4. PS I think the MSM and blogo/twitto-sphere are locked in a deadly battle, which the MSM will lose and is losing rapidly.


  5. Online newspapers fail in:

    1. not linking to anything
    2. not enabling comments tied to specific articles
    3. charging for certain types of content


  6. Web 1.0 was about getting your stuff onto pages.
    Web 2.0 was about adding people onto those pages.
    Web 3.0 is about getting rid of the URLs.

    But, the professional press is definitely moving in.

    When I say “newspapers are dead” I’m specifically talking about the paper distribution of news.

    The New York Times as a brand isn’t going away and, in fact, will get stronger online, especially given their willingness to play around and try new things like video.


  7. Some nice speculation on Web 3.0? Well, we are really talking about ‘the next 10 years’. It feels like we are at the beginning of the end of the rebirth about now. Syndication has basically won, and it won’t be long until the Semantic Web (ie. syndication for everything else) becomes a reality.

    What else? Even less VC money. Even less money full stop, actually. I’m a capitalist, sure, but innovation and capital are going to be getting further and further away. I have seen shockingly little innovation coming from venture backed companies, and more and more coming from individuals inside otherwise dead places.

    Networks and aggregators will become community projects – things people launch in afternoons, not things which Sequoia back. Just as anybody can launch a web forum in about an hour, it won’t be long until anyone can launch a social network or a meme aggregator like TailRank or TechMeme. Though this will scare the VCs absolutely shitless, it’ll ultimately be good for mostly everybody.

    The technology business will have to make a fundamental decision whether it’s in the technology business or the media advertising business. One is driven by the interaction and interplay between developers and users and the other is doomed to failure. I have paid for software (recently: Interarchy for $69, CSS Edit for $29) but I’ve never clicked on a banner ad or punched the money in my life. My generation, my parent’s generation and almost everybody else is smart enough to install AdBlock both on their computer and in their brains. The further you are from San Fran, the more laughable “business model == advertising” becomes.

    Eventually, personalisation, semantics and recommendation will make SEO irrelevant. This will scare a lot of money people, but will also be, overall, a good thing for the net. How many times do you see dry cleaners pretending to be porn stars to get more customers?

    Online TV is going to be far less important than everyone makes it out to be. Why do I need Joost? I’ve got BitTorrent.


  8. Tom, I think online TV might be important to the non-tech crowd.


  9. Scoble, it’s provable that printed newspapers are not dead.
    They sell them in the lobby of the hotel I’m staying in. There was a copy of USA Today outside the door of my room this morning (but I didn’t pick it up).
    To say newspapers are dead is as wrong as professional reporters saying bloggers are irrelevant (which they say all too often).
    About Web 3.0 getting rid of the urls, I have no idea what that means or why it would be desirable.


  10. Dave —

    I seem to remember another site in the .com days that did something like what fleck did (put public sticky-notes on a page), that you objected to because it was (in essence) rewriting your HTML. Do you feel that the mission/purpose/implementation of Fleck addresses your concern in a different way?

    In the end this is going to be a concern for any site that basically puts up a “glass pane” for other content over an existing site.


  11. newspapers are definately not dead, though they’re (hopefully) realizing that their mission can be modified… from claiming to be The Only Truth to being a distributor of multiple people’s reporting – “professionals” and “ameturs” alike.


  12. Hi, Dave.

    (you don’t need to post this, just a quick note to you.)

    Tim Berners-Lee never said Web 2.0 is what the Web is all about. Tim O’Reilly did. TimBL’s remarks on Web 2.0 were a bit different. Most people quote his views via the transcript of the developerWorks interview last summer. Easy enough to find via google.

    Later, TimO clarified his assertions regarding Web 2.0 and TimBL’s initial work, here:

    So, they both more or less agree that Tim’s invention was a 2-way, read-write entity – from the first browser-editor onward.

    Tim O’Reilly’s post has led to good discussions, more light and less heat.

    Kind regards,



  13. You’re right, I’ll stop saying that they are dead.


  14. I should just do a search and replace in this article I wrote about Third Voice in 1999, substitute every instance of “Third Voice” with “Fleck”, and try to get it published again.

    That’s Web 2.0 analysis, baby! ๐Ÿ˜€


  15. Posted by dbarros on May 23, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    The other day I ran out for a bite to eat and sat down reading the paper while I did. Really enjoyed getting out and doing so. I couldn’t imagine I’d enjoy reading the paper online. Just chillin’, flicking through the pages. No, newspapers will not die.


  16. Hmmm I don’t see the post I wrote earlier. I hope it wasn’t deleted. In no way shape or form was it meant to be hostile. But Dave I (and I am sure others) would be interested in your thoughts about Third Voice vs Fleck. At the time you put it in the same category as Microsoft’s smart urls — things that rewrote your content. Now I disagreed with you, but I could see where you were comming from (we even discussed this in the old forums). So do you feel that Fleck has addressed your concerns, or do you see it in a different light, or etc?



  17. As several of my very important gadgets were dead or having major malfunctions today, I opened a nice bottle of Amador county Zin, took copies of the several newspapers that I still subscribe to and sat outside reading with a glass of wine. It was wonderful.

    Of late, it has been quite traumatic to have several key devices fail in a short period of time. I have backups for every Mac & PC I have owned since 1 gig was a huge amount of external storage. Right now, however, restoring the data for my main laptop would require about 2 days of software installation, updates and configuration. Time that I don’t have right now. I’m sure that I will get it all fixed at some point…

    In the meantime, I will get by with both my backup web-based email and my printed newspapers. My appreciation for both has increased tremendously of late…

    tutto bene,

    P.S. to Dave: Como vai?


  18. Posted by Gary Byatt on May 24, 2007 at 1:51 am

    Newspapers will evolve into something else, but a few people will cling to the old ways and make a living from them. I used to know someone who made flints for muskets, said he was one of only two left in the UK.


  19. Great to see the evolving perspective Dave ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s huge you talking about newspapers and the fact that there’s still life there.


  20. What bothers me about the “newspapers are dead” debate is the apparent glee so many people take in trumpeting that belief. You’d think that people who believe in the transformative nature of the net would lament the demise of any other institution that also provides access to new and information. We need as many different sources of news and information as we can get. It is dangerous to get all your news from any one medium.


  21. My view has always been that Web 3.0 is Web 2.0 with commercial-grade structure. Semantic structure, yes, but also the kind of structure that supports business relationships; service level agreements, accountability, transactions, settlement etc. Not enforced on everyone but available and reliable when it’s needed.
    And of course this evolution is not a one-way street of the Web bowing to the needs of business. Business will have to change to adapt to Web 3.0, just like we’re seeing with the professional media.


  22. Paper newspapers are accessible to folks of all socio-economic levels. Many do not have the means to afford a home computer or laptop. This seems to be forgotten when techies make proclamations like “newspapers are dead.” It’s an elitist assumption.

    On a lighter note, there’s nothing sweeter than hanging out with a bunch of friends at brunch, sharing the Sunday NYTimes and the local papers. Tough to do with laptops.


  23. i wish newspapers would embrace the read/write web, but they’re so clueless, it’s almost unbelievable.


    what has to happen is that older, clueless management gracefully retire.

    “Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand, for the Times, they are a changin’.”


  24. This told me very little about what Web3.0 is.

    Semantic Web… er, well ok, and… newspapers aren’t dead.

    So that’s what Web3.0 is? I’m confused.

    I’m not trying to troll – I’d really love to know more about what your thoughts are on this topic – I just didn’t get much from this post. Is there a vlog/podcast of your talk?

    Thanks, Ben


  25. Also how can you say Newspapers aren’t dead, when in your comments you write

    “itโ€™s provable that printed newspapers are not dead.
    They sell them in the lobby of the hotel Iโ€™m staying in. There was a copy of USA Today outside the door of my room this morning (but I didnโ€™t pick it up).”

    Does the fact something is on sale or distributed prove it isn’t dead My local Blockbuster, surprisingly, still rents VHS, etc. The fact that you chose not to buy/consume the newspapers – hey one was given to you free and you said you didn’t even pick it up – suggests otherwise.

    That newspaper you walked over on your way out this morning will be reported to advertisers as a ‘read’ newspaper based on USA Today’s distribution figures (that’s why they give them to every major hotel chain to give out). If that’s not proof how f**ked the newspaper industry is then I’m Rupert Murdoch.


  26. As a semantic web believer, I am still left in some doubt as to the real identity of a future web. Will it be a web of structured information (read machine readable and searchable) or will it be a web of rich media applications or both?


  27. You want a friendly Web — easy, switch from competition to cooperation — link only for attribution and list by date of publication only. See my off-line samples at


  28. Dave,

    Are you saying Web 2.0 is the Semantic Web? I ask strictly because of this paragraph:

    “My talk went well, and I did talk briefly about how we should think about Web 3.0. I know other people have said it’s the Semantic Web, and maybe that use of the name will stick. I’m with Tim Berners-Lee who says Web 2.0 is really what the web itself is about. He always intended it to be a two-way medium.”

    I don’t want to jump to any conclusions re. what you are trying to articulate bar the fact that the paragraph is somewhat confusing to me.

    Disclosure: I see the Web 3.0 moniker as one of several labels associated with the Concept and Vision of a more Semantic Web expressed via a Web of Linked Data opposed to the current Web of Linked Documents (containers of semi- or unstructured data) .


  29. Dave,

    Litte correction due to typo ๐Ÿ™‚

    Disclosure: I see the Web 3.0 moniker as one of several labels associated with the Concept and Vision of a more Semantic Web expressed via a Web of Linked Data *as* opposed to the current Web of Linked Documents (containers of semi- or unstructured data) .


  30. Ben,

    Newspaper ad rates have always been based on circulation figures, not actual readership. There’s no easy way to determine who’s really reading the newspapers they buy, much less determining who is reading what stories/ads on what pages.

    Things aren’t that much different on the web side if advertising. A lot of people are assuming that every ad that’s clicked on is also an ad that’s read.

    I’d argue that the continued presence in the market of a product is, in fact, ample evidence that it isn’t dead. I can think of several reasons for Dave not reading USA Today, none of which have anything to do with its viability as a product.

    But, back to my earlier point: Why the seeming hostility toward the newspaper industry? Why the pleasure in their problems, real or perceived?


  31. Thanks billg. I am not the authority on whether USA Today lives or dies.

    Personally, I find its news uninteresting, its comics boring, and its crossword too easy. And it’s not so easy for me to bend down and pick things up these days, so I let someone else do it.

    But obviously it must interest *someone* or else they wouldn’t bother printing it (and advertisers wouldn’t pay to run ads in it).


  32. I’ve been a long time lurker of your blog, i think you’re right about web 3. However if you take the interpration of web 2.0, does that also apply to search 2.0? I’ve dont think that search 2 has really arrived according to that definition and i’ve written about this a few times on my blog


  33. You may be interested to know, Dave, that I took some comments you once wrote about advertising (old advertising=junk pitches; future “advertising”=valuable information for people making decisions) and included those concepts in a plan for a new revenue stream for online media products in which traditional advertising content would be an optional premium bonus, not the base business model. My company’s bosses didn’t even bother to discuss it with me.

    That was late 2005/early 2006. Meanwhile, the white men in suits were having their own meetings, and to get the attention of their colleagues they paid a bunch of money to create something called “Newspaper Next,” which is supposed to be the firebell in the night to wake up the complacent in the newspaper business. It’s message: You’re dying, and if you don’t change and innovate, you’re dead. Newspapers all over the country sent staff to these workshops, and they returned and started frantically forwarding e-mails and links around to each other. The thrust? “We’re dying, and if we don’t change and innovate, we’re dead.”

    So what have we learned? We’ve moved from ignoring innovative ideas in 2005, to being concerned about our future in 2006, to demanding that people innovate in 2007. And what are the ideas that they’re now discussing, one day a week at special off-site innovation meetings? The ideas that we suggested to ridicule, scorn and overt hostility in 2005.

    Listen: Scoble was right the first time, kinda. Forget whether or not there’s a print product that you’ll find in hotel lobbies. Newspapers as an institutional culture, as an intellectually honest, relevant journalistic exercise MUST DIE. They have to die because they are run by people who expect 20 percent profits and cannot understand that in a competitive market NOBODY gets to harvest cash that way.

    They have to die because the people at the top, almost across the board, are people who have learned to survive equating innovation with risk (and why take risks when NOT taking risks gets you 20 to 30 percent profit?). They have to die because so long as the money and the talent and the infrastructure for news gathering is bound up in these obsolete battleships, nothing significant can change.

    One of the warnings I gave the bosses in 2005 was this: while they looked at blogs and websites and saw nothing worth worrying about, I looked at the totality of the network of blogs and websites and saw a rising wave. I told them that if they didn’t respond to that wave now they were going to face an army of Davids — dozens of small competitors, each one snipping off a bit of our market.

    This is exactly what happens, and if they even bothered to read the blog-based coverage we do of the local blogosphere, they’d know that. For-profit, start-up, local news sites are cropping up in our market, and we’re simply not responding to it. Because we’re so crippled as an institutional culture that we simply can’t.

    I’m not doing “new media development” for them anymore. I’m back to doing my “real” job, along with multimedia and blogging, and I’m not part of their “innovation team.” Which is good, because as far as I’m concerned, the only way we’ll acutally, successfully innovate is to take the 10 smartest people in the building, give them a meaningful budget but no institutional controls, and tell them to kick the core product’s ass.


  34. Posted by Matt on May 27, 2007 at 11:35 pm


    Im sorry but this has to be the lamest Web3.0 article on the net.

    Can you get more specific?

    Define it please…..


  35. I’m likely late to this discussion, but it seemed to fit with what I read on Scott’s “The Dilbert Blog” yesterday about the future of newspapers.

    Interesting integrating vision, where professional staff format and package ‘amateur journalistic’ content – with a revenue sharing model thrown in, to boot.

    All success


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