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Mahalo is Web 2.5 – its official October 4, 2007

Posted by Bernard Lunn in India, social networks, start-ups, Web 3.0 Semantic.

Jason Calacanis tried spinning Mahalo as Web 3.0 and got flamed all around the Blogosphere. Being a savvy promoter and ex publisher I am sure he is tickled pink at the free attention he got for his start-up.

I have to admit I rather liked his definition of Web 3.0:

“Web 3.0 is defined as the creation of high-quality content and services produced by gifted individuals using Web 2.0 technology as an enabling platform.”

Leaving aside the entirely correct view that all this versioning is just silly (it is silly, but methinks it is here to stay, the concept of continous evolution is too messy to grasp, we need defined phase transition points), Calacanis is just a bit wrong. What he described is Web 2.5. I think he is onto something big with Mahalo and it is a potentially great model, particularly with a few million more knowledge workers coming on stream from “the countries formerly known as emerging markets”. Mahalo is an interim step and brilliantly timed.

The reason is that the real Web 3.0 when we combine the Web 2.0 user generated social web with STRUCTURE (like we had in all those boring 30-year old databases) is a technically very, very tough thing to pull off. There are some big attempts such as Freebase and Radar Networks but these are very early stage.

So the interim, using humans rather than relying solely on algorithms, will be a great business model. It might not be Mahalo that pulls it off. But the basic idea is bang on target IMHO.

What amazes me is that the Mahalo concept was not invented in India.



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