We have a vision of the future. A robot hands you coffee. Then, it’s off in your flying car to work, dropping of Elroy, Judy, and Jane along the way. Oh wait, that’s the Jetsons. In real life, the future is much closer than you think. And if the top minds at Google and LinkedIn are right, the future is about to take off.
First there was Web 1.0. This was the thrill of listening to your modem beep out 14.4Kbps of data. The web was anonymous and static. Web 2.0 was the social web with real names and full participatory collaboration.
According to LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman, Web 3.0 will center around data.
Mo data, mo problems. There are several things keeping data down. In the Web 1.0 and 2.0 architectures, databases were singular, proprietary, formatted differently, and/or nonexistent. Now, the database-driven web envisioned in 2009 by world wide web founder Tim Berners-Lee is gaining some serious traction.
The en vogue term for linked, “mashed-up” databases is big data. Essentially, as data sets become more open, largely though government and grass-roots efforts, corporations now have massive data sets against which they can juxtapose their own proprietary data.
The remaining problem seems to be what to do with all that data. Too much data and no way to read it doesn’t help anyone. Kaushik recommends using algorithms to find the interesting data:
How to auto magically solve the problem of having millions of rows of data, and not knowing how to find the 15 valuable rows that could have a huge business impact. Leveraging interestingness!
The way I see it, most online retailers have a more basic problem then gaining insights from data they look at from multiple sources mashed-up with their own. They’re simply not using what they’ve got now.
Run this experiment at your favorite online retailers. View the site without logging in, having just deleted your cookies. Then, log in. Has the site changed? It still surprises me how many big retailers do nothing dynamic in their online sales pitch after learning who I am.
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