I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog that I believe the “Web 3.0″ revolution will be ushered in by Social Hybrids. We are starting to see large Web 2.0 companies getting eaten up by the larger Internet powerhouses — AOL/Bebo, eBay/StumbleUpon, Yahoo/del.icio.us, etc — but there hasn’t been a true consolidation of web properties that combines social media with social networking.
Are we seeing the Genesis of it now?
During the last Digg Town Hall, Facebook integration was mentioned in a positive light several times. With rumors of Digg being bought, and those rumors subsequently fading away, is there a greater plan in store that would combine the largest social media site with one of the two largest social networking sites? If so, who would have deep enough pockets and large enough egos to undertake such a task? Microsoft? Google? Probably one of the two, but there could be a hidden sith waiting behind the curtain, ready to make the move when the stars and dollars align.
What about AOL? They already have Propeller, which is due for a major upgrade (that has been promised since it was called Netscape). Last month, they bought Bebo, the third largest social networking site in the world. Alone, both of these sites are on the outside looking in, a distant 4th and 3rd respectively in their chosen fields. Does AOL have something up their sleeves to stake claim to a true Web 3.0 Social Hybrid?
Lastly, there is the X factor. The unknown element. With several startups in the works heading in the direction of creating a hybrid, who’s to say that they won’t be able to put out a completely better product by building it from the ground up? The guys at OurSocieties have much of the framework in place — they’re just waiting for the “wealthy visionary” to come along and write them a check. The name, as appropriate as it is for a worldwide social hybrid, is long and hard to spell by most startup standards, but rumors are that they have alternative names lined up if testing shows the name fails.
At this point, all we have is speculation. Still, it can be easily assumed that someone is working on the next big thing. It’s just a matter of who and when.
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Read more about Web 3.0 Social Hybrids.