web 3.0: the political web

Museum of Media History has a video online which claims to map out the future of the internet, or at least of some forms of media, until 2015. It is the most uninspired and unexciting vision of the future of the web that i’ve come across. i for one, most ardently hope that the next ten years have more in store than an (epic?!) battle between Google and … the New York Times! It’s well done, though.

So having been most not-inspired by the above clip, i thought i’d share my thoughts on what the future of the web might hold. We all know that web 3.0 is supposed to be a semantic web. I think it will also be a political web.

What will this political web be? It’ll be yet another swarm of social web sites, only this time, instead of linking you up with your pals, they will actually structure your interactions with your co-workers, your fellow citizens and your fellow activists. These web sites will allow you to define the exact structure of an organization and implement it online. You will be able to maintain extra large groups of people who need never meet, because they will manage themselves online, deciding who gets to do what, who will hold what position, where to get funds, what to do with the funds, etc., by voting on member-submitted propositions, from their computers.

These websites will offer an extreemly open framework within which any possible type of organization can be easily created, from a template. People will be able to set up a political party, an activist organization, a company in less than 10 minutes and have the entire workings of it managed for them. Creating a new social organization will be as easy as creating a new blog.

These organizations will be fundamentally democratic, because the web is fundamentally so.

People will find novel solutions to age old organizational problems, because there will be virtually no cost anymore to trying out new types of organizations. We will be able to experiment with how we work and live together as easily as we’ve experimented with web 2.0 applications.

These systems will facilitate our interactions without controlling them. People will belong to a multitude different organizations (like they now are signed up at all the web 2.0 sites), trying them all out until we hit on the right ones. By then it will be time for web 4.0.


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