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Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS)

Posted on Wednesday, Feb 14th 2007

I have already written a few pieces addressing the disjointed nature of the Web whereby you go one place for content, another for community, and a third for commerce; the most notable of these pieces is the popular 4C: Yahoo’s Turnaround Formula.

Let’s quickly recap the terminology:

3C = Content, Commerce, Community |
4th C = Context |
P = Personalization |
VS = Vertical Search

This, I submit, is the formula for the future: Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS).

Web 2.0 has been a niche-y phenomenon with hundred and thousands of microcap efforts addressing one of the Cs, lately, Community being the most popular force, producing companies like MySpace, Facebook, Piczo, Xanga, and Flixster.

In Web 1.0, Commerce had been the driving force, that produced companies like Netflix, BlueNile, Amazon, and eBay. It had also resulted in the dot-com meltdown.

The same period that is seeing the surge of Web 2.0, has also seen a great deal of investment in Vertical Search, like Sidestep for travel.

Personalization has remained limited to some unsatisfactory efforts by the MyYahoo team, their primary disadvantage being the lack of a starting Context. More recently, Netvibes has raised a lot of buzz, but it also lacks the same organizing principle: Context.

In Web 3.0, I predict, we are going to start seeing roll-ups. We will see a trunk that emerges from the Context, be it film (Netflix), music (iTunes), cooking/food, working women, single parents . . . and assembles the Web 3.0 formula that addresses the whole set of needs of a consumer in that Context.


– I am a petite woman, dark-skinned, dark-haired, brown-eyed. I have a distinct personal style, and only certain designers resonate with it (Context).

– I want my personal SAKS Fifth Avenue which carries clothes by those designers, in my size (Commerce).

– I want my personal Vogue, which covers articles about that style, those designers, and other emerging ones like them (Content).

– I want to exchange notes with others of my size-shape-style-psychographic and discover what else looks good. I also want the recommendation system tell me what they’re buying (Community).

– There’s also some basic principles of what looks good based on skin tone, body shape, hair color, eye color . . . I want the search engine to be able to filter and match based on an algorithm that builds in this knowledge base (Personalization, Vertical Search).

Now, imagine the same for a short, fat man, who doesn’t really have a sense of what to wear. And he doesn’t have a wife or a girlfriend. Before Web 3.0, he could go to the personal shopper at Nordstrom.

With Web 3.0, the Internet will be his personal shopper.

Related Readings:

* The Taking on Giants section of Entrepreneur Journeys (Volume One)

* Personal Finance & Web 3.0
* Online Travel & Web 3.0
* Online Jobs & Web 3.0
* Web 3.0 & Photo Sharing : Synthesis
* Newspapers: Industry in Turmoil
* Enterprise 3.0 = (SaaS + Extended Enterprise)
* Rearden Commerce: Contextual Services
* Blue Nile’s Remedy
* Segments & Lifestyles Research Reports

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[…] (4C + P + VS)????? v.s Mobile 2.0 ??? ?? 29, 2008 ? Teeker ??? web 3.0=(4C+P+VS)??web […]

?Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS)????? v.s Mobile 2.0 « ??????….Teeker@Taiwan Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 8:03 PM PT

web3.0 service should be mobile2.0, it could be provided the “Personalization” service and suitable for me, here,now! you can get the web3.0 in other concept:

teeker Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 8:08 PM PT

[…] Read the entire article here. […]

Introduction to Web 3.0: A Free Course « Social Media Scribe: Scholar-Writer in a Web 2.0 World Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 8:46 PM PT

Sramana Mitra, your definition about the web 3.0 is very productive and yet 3.0 is on the experimental age.

To achieve Web 3.0 we also should need semantic markup, that is equally understandable by humans and machines at the same time.

Faisal Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 9:33 PM PT

Hi Sramana,

I have a background in AI and NLP. and have thought of an idea for a web 3.0 application. I am trying to get funding to complete the proof of concept, any thoughts on who can I approach.

I am here on the east coast.


Nitin Friday, October 10, 2008 at 1:01 PM PT

[…] os artigos completos: Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS) + […]

Web 3.0: a expansão do conceito. | Blog Archive » Plataforma Interativa Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 9:12 AM PT

[…] stages now so we can safely say it is the version of the future.  I have to admit that it was Sramana Mitra’s blog that got me first intrigued by the www versions. It is an excellent way to classify Web 3.0 and it […]

WWW versions « Random Ruminations Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 10:38 AM PT

Web 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 have different definitions depending on what kind of stakeholder is given top priority amongst the many different kinds.

Let’s overgeneralize and start by pointing out that the difference between having the web and not having it is simply that the web (the “internet”) is a place a person can go to do something.

The biggest difference in stakeholders is between Producers, Providers and Receivers.
All three types are Consumers but they go to the internet to consume very different classes of “content”…

Content is simply the material that the receiver needs, that they don’t already have,
in order to execute individual tasks to a conclusion.

In every case, with the content, the task is executed to conclusion within the “workspace” of the web, without leaving the web.

A task can be anything from self-entertainment to industrial development.

Each generation of the web offers support of the task to a different degree.

In web 1.0, the recipient acquired prefabricated content in a closed package.
– Search created a transitional opportunity to web 2.0 by encouraging choice of packages.

In web 2.0, the recipient acquired prefabricated content in a modifiable package.
– Collaboration created a transitional opportunity to web 3.0 by encouraging comparative and cooperative content sourcing.

In web 3.0, the recipient acquires modifiable content in a modifiable package.
– Lacking any better term so far, Affinity strikes me as the transitional opportunity to web 4.0, as ontologies and cultures begin to take over a greater percentage of activities *such as* the creation and materialization of new products out side of conventional corporate instruments and academia.

What distinguishes one generation from another is the notion that in each generation’s degree of support,an adequate level of reliability can be taken for granted by most stakeholders.

What this means, in reality, is that at any given time, some stakeholders have been at a different generational level than others.
But the technologies and practices that emerge and mature in the internet environment level the playing field across stakeholders.
This allows individual participants to go to the web for more and more of the various things that constitute their range of interests.
As a result, they inhabit the internet environment more and more. Turn off the internet, and they go somewhere else to do all of the same things, with a lot less affordable speed and range at their disposal.

– m. ryder

Malcolm Ryder Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 10:08 PM PT

Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS) – Sramana Mitra on Strategy…

According to enterpreneur journeys’s author, Sramana Mitra, the formula to web 3.0 is … Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS)…. Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 2:48 AM PT

see it, but i want to know what about web3.0 and when it come?

kiky Monday, March 30, 2009 at 8:25 PM PT

Michael Dell said there may be a 4th C beyond content, commerce, and community. I think the 4th C is customization. Customizing the other 3 C’s (automatically) to fit the client. Amazon is already doing some of this by suggesting products to a specific customer based on their previous purchases, browses.

Rick Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 3:02 AM PT

yes, here we call it personalization. the P.

Sramana Mitra Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 10:03 AM PT

Great article indeed. I want to add some more Cs. Collaboration and Communication. Collaboration and communication should be guided by context and/or content. For example if I am browsing my healthprofile online I should be able to communicate (voice, IM, note, email) with my physician with context. Its in my next product 🙂

Chiradiip Mandal Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 5:53 AM PT

Great article! I found another interesting angle on the web3.0 here:

Keith Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 11:24 PM PT

As a short fat man with a (very busy) wife I would love to go to Nordstrom, indeed I do as I have become (in the UK) John Lewis man. They are seen respectfully joining till queues at shops, occasionally losing the plot when confronted by poor service but in general using the internet wisely but still taking the advice of new girlfriends (and also young men) who try their best at checkouts to help fashion challenged but cash rich silver surfers.

paul martin Friday, December 4, 2009 at 10:59 PM PT

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Web 3.0 already? - Web Development Blog Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 7:52 AM PT

Interesting take on web 3.0. However, I strongly believe that situations like the one you presented do not apply in generalized settings. You posit that petite women know exactly what they want, while short fat men have no clue. Most people use the internet to search for what they wish to consume, and sometimes they may have a predetermined shop, item, brand, and size, etc. in mind and sometimes they just want to “browse”. The internet has never been a substitute for physical stores, it has always been a complimentary channel of distribution.

Everything you mentioned is pretty much possible through web 2.0. You can get recommendations from Amazon on what book to buy, and Amazon is considered a web 1.0 brand.

Web 1.0 was all about B2C one way communication, where businesses would offer enhanced value to consumers by saving costs through digital means. Web 2.0 was more about C2C, where users would communicate, work with, and do business with each other through social networking, crowdsourcing, blogging, user-generated videos, etc. with established corporates trying desperately to get in on the action. Web 3.0 would logically again revert back to B2C, but this time with the established players getting a cut of the action. Web 3.0 will be all about cloud based services, pure digital distribution, and real time/location based social media.

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I think web 3.0 would be something that will be making use of artificial intelligence and online games will lead to web based on a virtual world. there can be much more than this to which one can't predict.

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