In this Issue:
- What you missed
- Feedback Prize
- Characteristics of 3W apps, Part 1
- Power tip: TypePad
- Fun YouTube video
What you Missed
In case you missed the first newsletter you can read it here: https://blog.breakerlabs.com/2010/12/welcome-to-the-third-wave.html
The short version is: we are entering a third-wave of Internet companies and applications but we haven’t settled on exactly what that is or what it will mean. The purpose of this newsletter is to help figure that out.
Each wave emerged on top of the infrastructure built by the previous wave. Just as the PC boom enabled the Internet boom, each wave of the Internet has led to a new one. The three Internet waves I see are:
(1) Dot Com – the basic infrastructure of the Internet
(2) Web 2.0 – the social and participatory infrastructure of the Internet
(3) Third Wave – what we are building right now on the new infrastructure of the day
To understand the Third Wave (3W) we need to understand the raw materials that are now available to build things (and I listed many of those). Social and mobile are the big ones, but by no means the only ones.
The feedback prize this time goes to Jory Des Jardins, who left the first comment on the companion blog and raised some great issues. For those of you who don’t know Jory, she is the co-founder and President of Strategic Alliances atBlogHer, Inc. and writes a fantastic blog, “From Here to Autonomy,”  on the entrepreneurial life. Her blog, like her life, has taken a slight diversion as she became a mother this year (congrats!) and so her site is now also a great source of insight and humor on early parenthood.
Jory points out some important issues & questions: 
- The participatory wave of Web 2.0 has lead to huge information overload and 3W will have to tackle that issue; such as through better customization.
- That raises the privacy question, as we will have to learn how to customize without intruding.
- What will the cultural shift of the Third Wave be? Web 2.0 brought a new emphasis on transparency and listening to your customer or reader. How will 3W change our culture as we search for better customization, adjust to the inevitable backlashes, and establish privacy conventions?
- “Businesses and Media will completely embrace customers' reactions and feedback and be able to react more in real time.”
Great topics to tackle in future editions. I’d especially love to hear your views on Privacy in 3W.
A Look Back
For Jory’s contribution, I’m sending her one of my favorite editions of Red Herring. Red Herring Issue 55 was our 5th Anniversary Issue, published in June 1998, and it featured Jim Barksdale on the cover in front of a red curtain, exiting stage left – a metaphor for Netscape’s surrender in its battle against Microsoft. Even in the summer of 1998, four years after Netscape was founded, we were still talking about the building blocks of the Internet (remember the browser wars?) rather than what we were going to build with those blocks. The issue’s major focus: Java. The single dot com app (though we didn’t use “dot com” back then) that got attention in that issue: Hotmail (freemail – woohoo!). Amazon, eBay, and Google weren’t even mentioned in that issue – the last one hadn’t been started yet :).
Issue 55 was a major redesign, crafted by the famous magazine designer Roger Black, and was our “pivot” (though we didn’t use that word back then either) from an insider Silicon Valley finance magazine to a “Business of Technology” magazine – a business magazine, first and foremost, focusing on what we thought was the most interesting part of business: technology, innovation, and entrepreneurialism. Technology, we felt, had moved from a vertical industry to something that touched all of business, and this issue was our adjustment to that reality.
Incidentally, there is also a fascinating contrast of two economists in that issue: Paul Krugman and Julian Simon. Krugman makes some fascinating predictions about technology and the economy. Can you guess how many predictions he got right? I wrote about it here: www.r21.org.
Anyway, thanks Jory!
Now: back to the Third Wave.
Characteristics of 3W apps, Part 1
Last time I outlined many of the building blocks we now have to build 3W apps. This time I want to explore what that will mean for the characteristics of a 3W app. I will briefly call out two characteristics in this issue, and next time will explore several more.
The first two waves were browser centric. The Web isn’t dead, but 3W apps won’t be as browser-centric as the prior two waves. We will see “apps” emerge instead of “sites” and they will be designed from the ground up to take advantage of the new world, where the browser on your Mac or PC is only one interface along with others: phones, facebook, tablets, email, sms, IM, laptops, etc. Pan-Internet doesn’t mean web sites with iPhone apps tacked on, but rather apps that are inherently everywhere you need them to be.
Many of the Web2.0 apps were more “community” than “social,” in the sense that you interacted with community members, more than friends. Blogs, wikis, Yelp, Digg, etc. were great ways of generating “community” involvement but rarely did you actually know people in the community. Social networking (Facebook) and social sharing sites (e.g. Flickr) are inherently social, of course, as are microblogging (Twitter) and geo-tagging services (Foursquare), but most of these services are social for social sake. You are social so that you can be social. This narcissistic form of “social” is fun and in some ways useful, and it built a huge infrastructure, but it is only one form of social. 3W will build on this platform and expand into “applied social” by using the social graph to address existing needs. Where do I visit? What do I buy? What do I listen to? What do I watch? What do I do? While dot com had large sites and search engines to answer these questions, and web 2.0 tapped into the community for these questions (Yelp, Digg), 3W will tap into your social graph. It’s YOUR friends, not “the community” who will guide you.
What do YOU think the key characteristics of 3W apps will be?
Power Tip: TypePad
The first power tip: if you are looking for an easy web site solution and a great blog platform choose (what else): TypePad. TypePad powers the Breaker Labs site and newsletter archive and it works great. TypePad has the best customer support in the industry so you are never left out in the cold.
In case you’ve not seen the Gregory Brothers, check them out.
They do “Auto-Tune-The-News,” such as:
Legalize Pot; Elena Kagan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbc2NaLuv1A
And they do hilarious auto-tuned manipulations of popular YouTube sensations, such as:
Bedroom Intruder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMtZfW2z9dw
Double Rainbow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX0D4oZwCsA
Backin Up, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIoG4PlEPtY
 Jory Des Jardins’ LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jory-des-jardins/0/130/144
 The Internet Archive, bless it, has preserved Red Herring Issue 55 here: https://web.archive.org/web/19980610083702/www.redherring.com/mag/issue55/toc.html
 “The Web is Dead,” Wired hyperbolized in August. They make a good point about how we are using many other apps on the Internet outside of our browser, but they fret too much about corporate control and used a misleading chart to suggest the web is declining, when it isn’t. (They measure relative bandwidth, not total time spent.) I also think they are too dismissive of HTML 5. It’s worth reading, but with some healthy skepticism. https://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/08/ff_webrip/all/1