A member of my Google+ circles asked me the following question:
I thought I would share my answer on my blog.
Let’s revisit Economic Development 4.0 before I answer your question
I can offer a comment on whether Google Plus could provide a foundation for Web 4.0. However, it will be a response based upon whether Google Plus can perform the same functions of each Web 3.0 network identified in my Economic Development 4.0 presentation. I would like to visit what the numbers mean first particular Economic Development 4.0 (international integration) and the critical path to get there.
In internet terms:
- Web 1.0 (read or information distribution)
- Web 2.0 (participation, read-write). We are just moving out of Web 2.0.
- Web 3.0 (collaboration/execution, read-write-execute)
- Web 4.0 (integration, read-write-execute-link).
In Economic Development 4.0, the numbers refer to a stage of economic development which follow the same principlies as above.
- 1.0 refers to the status quote channels and hierarchies (information distribution)
- 2.0 is a reference to people interacting through the web (social participation). We are here today!
- 3.0 is a reference to collaboration and execution of the web by social, political and economic endeavours (national collaboration)
- 4.0 is a reference to linking social, industrial and political endeavours (international integration)
For the purposes of communicating the Economic Development 4.0 strategy, this approach provides a description of where we are today. We are at the end of social participation (2.0). We are moving into a stage of national collaboration (3.0). We then move into international integration (web 4.0). This is intuitive, but it is also a single opinion and I welcome feedback on the importance of defining these terms.
In summary, Economic Development 4.0 moves from social participation (2.0) to national collaboration (3.0) and international integration (4.0). This is something we can do in ten years, rather than 100 years. As meaningless as the numbers are, I believe that some good definitions may help align a community with a common interest in economic development around a specific course of action.
Finally – an answer to the question asked
Back to your question. Could Google Plus deliver Web 4.0? Google Plus will have global reach and a global audience. The circles could group communities along the different fields of endeavour. There could quite literally be a circle for democracy, climate change, international governance, financial markets and all the other networks on the critical path to Economic Development 4.0.
However, there are three things missing from Google Plus. There are probably more, but these three come to mind now! Firstly, there needs to be comprehensive tagging of people and content. Secondly, there needs to be a way for a person to see the knowledge (ie; what and how all the content is related). Third, there really needs to be a method to focus the community on a specific outcome and manage toward it. Google Plus couldn’t do it today – maybe it could with some enhancements. This is why I see a sophisticated content management system (or “Central Brain”) as the foundation for each network on the critical path to Web 4.0. Google Plus may be too generic and limited to people and their circles to focus the effort and wisdom of the crowd to achieve outcomes. My suspicion is that Google will keep Google Plus simple.