Thursday, November 30, 2006

Is Web 3.0 Really About Technology?

I was a bit surprised by John Markoff's Nov. 11 piece on Web 3.0, or the "semantic Web" based on artificial intelligence (AI).

Surprised because Markoff, and those quoted in the article, are still talking about the Web in terms of technology, rather than human behavior. That is, is the Web really still about technology? To me that's like us talking about television, radio, or print in terms of black and white vs. color, frequency and watts, and types of printing presses. So I ask, is Web 3.0 really only about technology?

Since Markoff writes the technology column I guess I shouldn't be that surprised, but from what I am seeing take shape online, the emerging "Web 3.0" is something much more fundamental than the tools and platform running on the back end.

If Web 1.0 was millions of linked online brochures ("web sites"), Web 2.0 a more sophisticated version of applications mashed together ("mashups"), then I guess it makes sense that Web 3.0 could be about AI. But to me, I think what's more interesting is to define the innovation that is occurring online in terms of how this change is impacting human behavior. So in a Web 1.0 world, ordinary people got access to a networked world that was interactive, visual, and affordable. With Web 2.0, the impact of scale, collaboration, participation continues to impact pricing, information access, the job market, relationships, social interaction, our news media and so forth. So how will Web 3.0 change human behavior? How will people be impacted by the next wave of innovation and progress?

It seems to me that a Web 3.0 world, is about people/companies/organizations leveraging all of the great tools and infrastructure created from Web 1.0/2.0 and using it to develop things/products/services that actually make a difference in their lives and those in their community (where ever that community exists - online or off).

I believe Web 3.0 is about "nichification" and specialization. It is about harnessing all of this great innovation to develop things that people are actually interested in or that they actually need. Of course, this has been going on for many years already, but now it will go on in virtually every industry and for every idea imaginable. It's not about a cool new calendar application that features AJAX. It will be about a calendar that has meaning to my life and changes my behavior. What does that look like? I don't know...

Because people not only have the tools, capability and infrastructure to take control, they will do so in ways relevant to their lives, and not just because a computer told them so. But because nichification and specialization are now possible in a Web 3.0 world. While the technology may be getting better, what is really changing is how people are leveraging these new tools for change and progress. The question to me is not about the types of technologies running behind the Web, or how they are working, but rather what they are doing to help real people. And that is an exciting thing to be a part of...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lapa: Rio's Symbol of Samba (And My Favorite Neighborhood in Rio)

Finally, the mainstream media (see below) is starting to cover Lapa, an area in Rio de Janiero. For years I've been telling everyone I know in Rio, if I could buy a building anywhere in that magnificent city, it would be in Lapa. And for years, people from Rio have said that I'm crazy. It's too dangerous. And all sorts of other fear-filled exaggerations.

So when the The New York Times published a great article in the Travel section this week: In Lapa, Rio de Janiero, the Samba Never Stopped, I was both pleased and annoyed. Pleased because of the validation factor, but annoyed because I don't yet own a building in Lapa and I don't want to see too many people crowding such a great place before I get there!

With its magnificent and classic architecture, great musician and art scene, street characters, night life, and non-stop samba, don't listen to the guides who tell you to avoid this place. Go there straight away...

Why Not Give A Goat This Christmas?

Tired of giving people the same old stuff for Christmas? Want to share something meaningful and give back a little more this year? Here's an idea: give the gift of Kiva.

Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world in small amounts (like $25). By choosing a business on, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.

There are all sorts of interesting entrepreneurs you can sponsor from helping farmers in Africa buy more chickens to helping a village raise enough money to buy more goats.

They even have gift certificates here.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Help Orny Beat K-Fed

The race is on...Click this link to watch the race between Orny Adams and K-Fed. Who's CD/DVD will sell more copies? K-Fed is already taking a nose dive in week four. Orny's making traction in his first week, which is great to see since he is doing 100% of the distribution himself and his marketing is all word of mouth.

Go Orny go.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My Podcast Interview with The HealthCare Blog And Recent Speech to Pharma Marketers

Matthew Holt from The Health Care blog just posted his podcast interview with me and Daniel Palestrant, founder and CEO of I really enjoyed the discussion, which was focused mainly on Health 2.0 issues and how our respective communities are growing. The transcript will also be posted soon, but for now you can take a listen to the interview.

In other OrganizedWisdom news, my partner Steven Krein and I just returned from a great two days at the eyeforpharma eCOmmunications and online marketing conference in Philadelphia. You can download the PDF of our speech here. We'll try to get the audio up soon as well...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Path of Most Resistance

Orny Adams, my great friend (and former roommate over at Studio 95 on Horatio St.) has just released his first comedy CD/DVD: Path of Most Resistance. Once I get a few extra moments I'll be posting a podcast interview with Orny about what Path means to him. I'll blog more about this in the near future, but in the meantime I hope you will all buy a copy of Path and tell your friends to do the same...

Here's his site:

Set List:

1. My Wife
2. Fat, My belt
3. Snuggles
4. Calvin Klein, Buddha
5. Eye Muscle
6. Vi-Quila, Chamomile Tea
7. Old People
8. Aspirin a Day, Bee Duck
9. My Hair
10. Propecia
11. Fat Kids
12. Sleeping
13. Phone Sex
14. Oversexualize
15. DVD Players in Car
16. Kids and Guns
17. News, Teacher/Student Sex
18. Bombs, 72 Virgins, DNA Evidence
19. Violent Adults, Shot Attorney, Galileo
20. Car Seats, Skidmark
21. “The Future”, Customer Service, Outsourcing
22. Staples, Seeing Eye Dog, Scale
23. We’re So Lazy, Socks
24. Chaplin, Projection, Agree to Disagree
25. Woman too Powerful
26. Checks and Woman
27. Female Vote
28. Cuban Girlfriend

Thursday, November 09, 2006

One needs to know but three words to play poker: call, raise or fold

I was intrigued by a reference Bill Maher made last night on Larry King Live to a compelling article (first published in an old edition of LA times - 9/17/05) from Glengarry Glen Ross author David Mamet.

You'll have to get the full article from the LA Times archives, but I have paraphrased some of the best parts below. While the article is about John Kerry and the democrats circa 2005, I consider the same concepts and ideas to be applicable to entrepreneurs, or how one goes about life in general.

Poker Party

By David Mamet

ONE NEEDS TO know but three words to play poker: call, raise or fold.
"In poker, one must have courage: the courage to bet, to back one's convictions, one's intuitions, one's understanding. There can be no victory without courage. The successful player must be willing to wager on likelihoods. Should he wait for absolutely risk-free certainty, he will win nothing, regardless of the cards he is dealt"

"The Democrats, similarly, in their quest for a strategy that would alienate no voters, have given away the store, and they have given away the country.

"Committed Democrats watched while Al Gore frittered away the sure-thing election of 2000. They watched, passively, while the Bush administration concocted a phony war; they, in the main, voted for the war knowing it was purposeless, out of fear of being thought weak. They then ran a candidate who refused to stand up to accusations of lack of patriotism.

The Republicans, like the perpetual raiser at the poker table, became increasingly bold as the Democrats signaled their absolute reluctance to seize the initiative."

"The American public chose Bush over Kerry in 2004. How, the undecided electorate rightly wondered, could one believe that Kerry would stand up for America when he could not stand up to Bush? A possible response to the Swift boat veterans would have been: "I served. He didn't. I didn't bring up the subject, but, if all George Bush has to show for his time in the Guard is a scrap of paper with some doodling on it, I say the man was a deserter."

This would have been a raise. Here the initiative has been seized, and the opponent must now fume and bluster and scream unfair. In combat, in politics, in poker, there is no certainty; there is only likelihood, and the likelihood is that aggression will prevail."

"One may sit at the poker table all night and never bet and still go home broke, having anted away one's stake.

The Democrats are anteing away their time at the table. They may be bold and risk defeat, or be passive and ensure it."