The Web 2.0 is about social media. Users don’t just explore, they post and collaborate. At the same time companies have started to use sophisticated marketing to reach out to potential consumers, trying to predict who they are and what they want based on their actions and who they collaborate with.
I believe the next step will be when the broad mass of internet users start using sophisticated analytics. Instead of only reaching out click by click, sites will increasingly offer to put users in touch with each other both for business and pleasure based on predictions about their affinities.
Ironically, this is the vision of user interaction on the web that we had at Abuzz in 1996. We thought the web would be too large, sparse and untrustworthy: people needed collaborative filtering to collaborate. If I’m right now, and reaching out mediated by algorithm becomes the rage in a couple years, we will have been perhaps 18 years early. I like to think I’ve learned a few things, but on this evidence, at least, I can’t recommend any of us as stockbrokers….