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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another glimpse of web 3.0

Earlier this month, I defined what web 3.0 is going to be. Although that was a light-hearted post, I was entirely serious when I said that web 3.0 is going to be defined by machine-generated content and intelligent software agents. And now I've just had my first glimpse of what web 3.0 is going to look like.

Remember Ms. Dewey, the search engine with the "human" face? As feeble humans, we're going to need "human" faces for all that machine-generated content coming down the pipe.

Noodle Reader is an RSS reader for Macintosh OS X which uses an animated talking head to read the news aloud using Mac OS's built-in speech synthesis. And if you get tired of the built-in "actors" that Noodle supplies, you can download more, or even build your own voice into the reader. OK, so it's a little primitive right now, but these synthesized interfaces will improve rapidly, e.g. when Alex arrives with Leopard. Video:




Noodle Reader also displays another feature of web 3.0: you're going to have to pay for it. When the web 2.0 bubble bursts in 2008, the VCs are going to want their money back. Next time around, software and services will be charged for, distinguishing 3.0 from the "if you build it they will come" give it away ethos of 2.0, just as we're already seeing Google spinning out more paid services.

You heard it here first.

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