While all of us try to come to terms with the digital age and the impacts of Web 2.0 and its social media revolution, the next revolution, and therefore challenge, is just around the corner.
The Semantic Web, or Web 3.0 as some term it, is set to become a reality within the next decade. It’ s more than a little upgrade – of that you can be sure – and its ramifications for the marketing discipline are numerous.
Semantic Web “Semantic savvy people brought up on this new semi-automated version of themselves”
Aspire intends to publish a series of articles here on how we see it impacting the marketing mix. But to begin with we will first introduce what it is and where it’ s going to take us.
What is the Semantic Web?
The Semantic Web is the first step along a journey that will lead to artificial intelligence. Put succinctly, the World Wide Web as we currently know it is a medium for the exchange of documents and ‘ dumb’ data. We use our computers to search for these documents but they still have to be read, understood and acted upon by us.
Ultimately, to exploit this you will likely have a digital version of yourself that trawls the Semantic Web to find, assemble and act on information that will help facilitate your life.
Some things it will do automatically, some you will instruct it to do and for others it will request your permission. This personal agent will become your most powerful tool in a new digital world where data transcends the nodes from which it is born.
You will be able to set your own level of automation according to your specific needs and indeed perhaps your level of confidence in the strange new world that will result from this watershed.
Where is it taking us?
As we know in marketing, there will be early adapters and also many who resist the change. But over time, like earlier changes, it will become fundamental behaviour as older people are replaced by semantic savvy people brought up on this new semi-automated version of themselves.
It’ s all quite radical and the challenges to business and the marketing discipline are beyond vast. However we can take comfort that these changes will take time. Whilst the technology will forge ahead, people will adapt gradually. This means as businesses we will be able to follow the trend at a sensible pace. Just as we have since the birth of the Internet age.
That said, it is Aspire’ s view that those companies who take the time to crystal ball gaze and try to understand what all of this means will be best placed to make the most of the opportunities as they occur.
Also, in Moore’ s law we do find a warning. It would seem processing power is not the only thing increasing at an exponential rate. People’ s behaviour also seems to be changing at a faster pace. So that future in the crystal ball may not be as distant as we anticipate.
The Semantic Web is going to be a brave new world. Join us here in the future to read more about how we see it impacting on the marketing discipline and businesses’ competitive position.
Author: Colin Knox, founder of Aspire.