More on Visionaries

I invited my parents over for lunch yesterday. As I heated chicken and rice soup and broiled cheese toast–which I knew they loved because I had learned to love it at their table–I said, "Dad, read the middle of page 13 aloud."

I was referring to Larry Weber’s Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business.  (Here’s an interesting link about the presence or absence of Weber’s blog).

My dad read, "Web 4.0, which is right around the corner, will feature rich media (full of video, sound, even touch) and broadband, with high definition making the Web more emotive. How does that work? Consider the growing popularity of video conferencing. For instance, at a Halo center, where the next generation of video-conferencing technology is in place, participants see three-dimensional, full-size, video conferencing; it’s almost as if the people are in the same room and sharing the same experience. That is an example of rich media in action. The emotive element will include both personal and business sensations, the idea that the experiences offer not only emotions–joy, curiosity, disgust, happiness–but also, on the business side, sensations of satisfaction and fulfillment."

I said, "What does that remind you of?"

In unison, my father and mother said, "The Didactron."


  1. Alex Edelman says:

    Web 4.0? How? What's web 3.0 going to be? We haven't even fully explored the limits of this web 2.0 thing. From what I can see, the rich media – audio, video – are already well-integrated and becoming increasingly accessible to everyday users, along with the whole "social web" idea. 3D video conferencing doesn't seem to me so much the next internet revolution after the next internet revolution, but a natural adaptation to technologies that might become wide-spread at some point. 3D conferences are neat, but they alone do not represent a radical transformation of the way we think about the web.

  2. Anne Clelland says:

    I admit when I read the passage from Weber's book, I thought, "I want to grow up to be a pundit, too, so I can name a version of the web. Web 10.0! That's the one I forsee!"

    Actually, I think E. M. Forster's 1909 short story, "The Machine Stops," speaks most profoundly to the importance of not just thinking about the web, but being vigilant about what results from it. Study of the story in a Blacksburg High School English class in the 1970s has influenced my consideration of the computer as a machine for over three decades.

    If I am hit by a bus tomorrow, I want to have kissed my beloved's real–not virtual–face today.

    "'Quicker,' he gasped, 'I am dying – but we touch, we talk, not through the Machine.' He kissed her."

    –from "The Machine Stops" by E. M. Forster

    Full text of the story:

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