Here is what I think Web 3.0 will have:
- A global and open Reputation Network
- A distributed and open Computing and Storage Platform
What does it mean for a Reputation Network to be global? Currently, we have propietary reputation systems, such as the reputation scores for sellers (and buyers) at Amazon and eBay. However, that reputation is not portable. This means that if an Amazon third-party seller wants to start selling on eBay, they have to start from scratch, as if their business is new. Trust is an integral ingredient to transactions. It becomes crucial on the internet, when a buyer and a seller are likely to never have heard of each-other. With portable reputations, a trust metric can be made available in all interactions.
What about the open part? A global reputation system owned by one entity is a non-starter. Why would one trust a single entity to provide basic infrastructure that affects all commerce and other interaction? Reputation should be like TCP/IP – based on open standards so that different vendors can provide different levels of service and create a robust overall system. The individual reputation systems can remain under the control of Amazon, eBay and others. However, they can inter-operate so that they can create a global reputation network.
Reputation should be subjective. End-users should be able to subscribe to different raters, and thereby compute different scores for the same target. End-users have diverse values and preferences. One number cannot capture this diversity.
Storage and Computing
What about storage and computing? Currently, people have presence on the Web through Blogs, Wikis, Storefronts, IM, e-mail, etc. . However, creating a new Web application faces certain barriers. The application creator has to acquire servers, manage them, ensure that the data is safe and face scalability issues as the application grows in popularity. Also, interoprability between applications is difficult. A standardized computing and storage abstraction will allow new application to be installed by the user into their virtual computing appliance. Users will have control of which application they run and how the applications communicate. Applications and data will migrate to physical hardware based on what the user is willing to pay and what scalability requires.
The division of labor is: the application provider does what they are good at – writing applications. The computing and storage providers provide efficient and reliable computing and storage (and if they don’t – the application can migrate easily or even automatically). The end-user does what they do best – connect the dots and provide content.