Facebook Connect: Trojan Horse for Web 3.0?
A lot of people are talking about Facebook Connect. And last year a lot of people were talking about Web 3.0. But I haven’t seen anyone make the connection yet. So, here’s my question: Is Facebook Connect the killer app that will bring us into Web 3.0?
…now let me translate that out of Geek. All Facebook Connect is, is that Facebook created a way for other sites to use their technology on non-Facebook sites. So here’s an example: if you were to add an item to a wish list on a shopping site, you could choose to have a pop-up appear so you could decide whether to have that action show up on your news feed so your friends could see it.
If sites use this API to funnel information, it’s not hard to imagine the extrapolations. Like, then, I could search all my friends for cute shoes they’d purchased in the last few months. It’s not precisely the promise of Web 3.0, but it’s not far off.
By the way, I know some people (I’m looking at you, Shankman) hate the term Web 3.0, but I think that’s because they don’t really understand what’s meant by it. I’ll explain as briefly as I can. Because I think we’re talking about the same thing happening – just using different words for it.
So what’s Web 3.0? Okay.
- Web 1.0 was brochureware. One-way information online.
- Web 2.0 is social media. Two-way interaction via comments, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, social networks.
- Web 3.0 will be the semantic web. When you don’t have to think “okay, I have a Gmail message open that mentions these people, I’ll open another window to search them on LinkedIn, and I’ve got my Christmas list open in Gubb, so I’ll open a fourth window to search for gifts on Amazon…” When it works together seamlessly, somehow, needing only a simply stated action from you.
It doesn’t appear that anybody’s quite clear on the “somehow” yet – but Facebook Connect, if done right, might be that “somehow”. It’s not a guns-blazing, stop-the-presses thing, which is why I’m calling it a Trojan horse – not in the sense of a virus, but in the sense that I think it can infiltrate our online functioning and surprise us. It could be cool as hell… if, again, it’s done right. So let’s see what happens.