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NYT announces coming of Web 3.0, everyone groans

Web 3.0?!Yesterday's New York Times included an, um, interesting article by John Markoff about the next generation of the web. He says that computer scientists and start-ups want to "add a layer of meaning on top of the existing Web that would make it less of a catalog and more of a guide--and even provide the foundation for systems that can reason in a human fashion." He says their effort is "referred to as Web 3.0." That's nice, John, but why does your article have everyone who actually knows what they're talking about scratching their heads? Everyone who's been paying attention will identify that new "layer of meaning" as what people have been happy calling the semantic web for a few years now, but nobody but Markoff, and maybe a few overenthusiastic marketers, are calling it Web 3.0, and that bit about reasoning "in a human fashion"? Well, AI isn't new to computer science, and Hollywood got over it five years ago. I'm not sure what Markoff's excuse is.

Predictably, the blogosphere is all over the Web 3.0 meme, with notable responses from Nick Bradbury who says "The Semantic Web may happen, but if it does, it's going to be a helluva lot messier than the architects would like," and ex-Microsoftie Robert Scoble who proposes "Web 2007" as a much more hypeworthy name, Tim O'Reilly ("I was surprised to see Markoff referring to this as "Web 3.0", when that very fact is the heart of what we've been calling Web 2.0."), and, of course, Dave Winer.

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